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MIT just invented X-ray vision—sort of

What walls?

Rendering of x-ray vision Jason Dorfman, MIT CSAIL

In the scope of enviable superpowers, X-ray vision has always seemed like the most practical and plausible of the bunch. Now plausibility has turned into reality, thanks to new technology coming out of MIT.

Photos and renderings of x-ray vision Jason Dorfman, MIT CSAIL

A team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab has developed technology that’s able to see human movement through walls. It’s not X-ray vision, exactly. Instead of using electromagnetic radiation to produce imagery, the researchers have found a way to use low-power radio waves to track the movement and figure of humans through a wall.

Renderings of x ray vision Jason Dorfman, MIT CSAIL

The simple explanation is this: A device sends weak radio waves through a wall where they’re able to bounce off humans, whose bodies are natural reflectors thanks to their predominantly watery makeup. Those waves are then bounced back through the wall and into the device, where AI is able to transform a blob of signals into stick figures that illustrate body position and movement.

The researchers say the technology could be useful in the health care realm by allowing doctors to monitor their patients sensor-free. We say that’s a perfectly suitable application for a technology that could otherwise be put to some seriously nefarious use.

Via: Wired