For many years humans have fantasized about X-ray vision and played with the concept in comic books and sci-fi movies. MIT’s Wi-Vi project explores the potential of using Wi-Fi signals and recent advances in MIMO communications to capture the motion of humans behind a wall and in closed rooms.

Wi-Vi allows detection of up to three moving humans in a closed room. It is capable of determining the direction of movement, towards the device or away from it, and the angle of motion. A human can communicate with the Wi-Vi system using simple gestures without carrying or wearing any wireless device. The system can even detect very simple gestures made through a wall, making it the first through-wall gesture-based interface.

Possible applications of the technology are intrusion and ambush detection, victim finding Under collapsed structures, motion sensing for controlling of heating/cooling and lighting systems, household appliances, and non-invasive monitoring of children and elderly. Wi-Vi also enables a new dimension for input-output devices in gaming which does not suffer from occlusion and works in non-line-of-sight.