Feeds

Boffins build gesture recognition using WiFi

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

Boost IT visibility and business value

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

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.