Washington: We could all now have Superman-like X-ray vision - thanks to researchers at MIT`s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
Researchers have long attempted to build a device capable of seeing people through walls.
However, previous efforts to develop such a system have involved the use of expensive and bulky radar technology that uses a part of the electromagnetic spectrum only available to the military.
Now a system being developed by Dina Katabi, a professor in MIT`s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and her graduate student Fadel Adib, could give all of us the ability to spot people in different rooms using low-cost Wi-Fi technology.
"We wanted to create a device that is low-power, portable and simple enough for anyone to use, to give people the ability to see through walls and closed doors," Katabi said.
The system, called "Wi-Vi," is based on a concept similar to radar and sonar imaging.
But in contrast to radar and sonar, it transmits a low-power Wi-Fi signal and uses its reflections to track moving humans. It can do so even if the humans are in closed rooms or hiding behind a wall.
To do this, the system uses two transmit antennas and a single receiver.
The two antennas transmit almost identical signals, except that the signal from the second receiver is the inverse of the first.
As a result, the two signals interfere with each other in such a way as to cancel each other out.
Since any static objects that the signals hit - including the wall - create identical reflections, they too are cancelled out by this nulling effect.
In this way, only those reflections that change between the two signals, such as those from a moving object, arrive back at the receiver, Adib said.