Feeds

Boffins build gesture recognition using WiFi

'HELP! Every time I move, the lights go out!'

High performance access to file storage

Skip the sensors, skip the cameras: if you watch the signals closely enough, you can build gesture recognition using only WiFi signals.

That's what's just emerged from the University of Washington, where computer scientists say their WiSee technology can accurately recognise 94 percent of gestures from a sample of 900. They also say that the propagation behaviour of WiFi in normal households means the system would work even when the user is in a different room to the transmitter.

A hand gesture changes the TV channel using WiSee technology.

A hand gesture changes the TV channel using WiSee technology

It rests on the Doppler effect: if a signal bounces off a moving object, there'll be a small – very small! – change in its frequency, proportional to the velocity of the object. The shift is in the order of a handful of Hertz in a signal operating in the 5 GHz range, but if the receiver can identify the shift, it can make use of that information.

The UW researchers created a receiver with multiple antennas, each of which can lock onto different individuals, to prevent the system confusing different individuals. A specific recognition gesture activates the system, which the researchers would also hope can protect the system from being hijacked by an unauthorised user within reach of the WiFi system.

After that, the user can perform gestures to control whatever systems the WiSee is attached to – for example, to switch lights on and off in another room, or to adjust air-conditioning.

The researchers, Shyam Gollakota and Sidhant Gupta, have previously worked with Microsoft Research on gesture recognition using sound (SoundWave) and radiation from electrical wires (Humantenna). ®

Watch Video

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
Get your MOON GEAR: Auction to feature Space Race memorabilia
Keepsakes from early NASA, Soviet programs up for bids
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.