Your Home’s Wi-Fi Network Could One Day Replace Your Kinect

Gesture-recognition systems, like the Kinect or the upcoming Leap Motion, rely on special hardware and require you to be in a specific place to detect your motions. A limitation that researchers at the University of Washington have all but eliminated by instead using the Wi-Fi network in your home to recognise gestures.

Unlike the Kinect, which analyses the specific motions of various parts of your body, the WiSee system instead listens for subtle frequency changes in a modified Wi-Fi signal as it bounces off your moving body. Existing hardware like multi-antenna wireless routers can be easily modified to emit the special signals, while smartphones, computers and other devices can all serve as detectors.

In its current form the WiSee system isn’t as refined as the Kinect or the Leap Motion, but the researchers have found that it can successfully recognise nine unique gestures — including changing channels on a TV and controlling music — about 94 per cent of the time. For the extremely lazy it’s a dream come true, but for the paranoid worried about every single move they make being tracked, it’s a nightmare. [WiSee via Boing Boing]