3D motion tracking through walls with WiTrack
Scientists at MIT could relegate the humble motion sensor to history as they develop technology which can track a person’s movements though walls using radio signals. WiTrack uses a transmitter and three receivers to detect reflections caused by moving objects while ignoring reflections caused by walls, fixtures and furniture.
It can pinpoint the position of a person with an accuracy to within several inches and can detect the movement of limbs, such as pointing in order to turn devices on and off.
The power of the wireless signal used is said to be 100 times less powerful than standard WiFi and 1,000 times less power than the signal from a mobile phone.
Aside from the obvious applications like device control through gestures, and equipment auto start up and shut down through presence detection, the designers suggest gaming and fall detection in the homes of over 65s as possible applications. Other commercial applications could include directing the focus of steerable technology such as speakers and lights.
At the present time the system can only track one person and the triangulation accuracy isn’t 100% but it is an evolving concept which is simple and cheap. The MIT say they are working on enabling multiple persons to be tracked by system, which could pave the way for it to be used in typical corporate, education or leisure environments.