Thanks To Wi-Fi – You Can See Through Walls

By | May 28, 2017

When Wi-Fi was introduced to the world, it was just a medium to connect your devices wirelessly. Now, scientists have developed a technology which can make 3D images or holograms of the objects located behind the walls.

Wi-Fi router radiates microwaves. Not all the transmitted microwaves are received by our laptop, mobile and other devices. Those abandoned microwaves bounces off clutter or different objects such as tables, books, refrigerator etc.

The bounced back signal provides lots of tracking data and with the help of a clever computer programme, one can use this data to create 3D images.

Two German scientists have used this theory to see through the walls. They also made  a smart computer programme to create images for Wi-Fi signals.

For your knowledge, this is not a totally new concept. Research had been going on this concept for last few years, but Philip Holl and Friedemann Reinhard of the Technical University of Munich have come to limelight by making 3D images or holograms using the similar concept.

They use 2 antennas to record microwaves in a particular room. The job of these antennas is to capture the phase and intensity of microwaves from the areas it bounces off and also from the source.

By capturing these 2 parameters, Philip and Friedemann made a holographic image of the room.

These 2 antennas are very small, like the ones equipped in smartphones. Yes, it is obvious to get unsettled of privacy and being concerned due to such innovation. But Philip and Friedmann believe that it is highly unlikely that this technology will be used to look into bedrooms in the near future.

One antenna scans the object while the other one records only the microwaves. Once the information is collected by both antennas, this data is sent to a computer and as a result one gets a holographic image of the objects.

Thanks to this Wi-Fi imaging technology, many lives would be saved if this technology is refined further and adopted by disaster management teams across the world.

Both scientists believe that even though it is not a life-changing technology, it can be used in disaster situations like Earthquake or it can also come handy to security personnel.

This process is still in its early stage. That mean, in near future it is not going to be used widespread. This process can’t create accurate shapes of small objects. Holl told that “if there is a cup of coffee placed on a table, you can see that something is there but you can’t tell exactly what is that, as this Wi-Fi image processing system can’t detect shapes at the moment.”


However, this is not a big concern. As Holl told, “If you are sitting on a couch with your cat then both of you can be detected. Anything with a size of more than 4 centimetres can be detected and its shape is displayed on the screen.”


Huge benefit in army operations

Can save live in disaster events

Help Game Developers, AR/VR Developers

Building industry will also be benefitted




Interference with Privacy



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