Gesture recognition tech controls devices without a camera (and a smart photoshop prank)

Researchers at the University of Washington have announced a new gesture-recognition technology that harnesses WiFi signals to enable users to control appliances all over the house, no matter what room you are in.

Gesture-Recognition (1)

The so-called WiSee technology goes one step beyond Kinect technology by removing the need for cameras or any technology other than a wireless router. The system works by reconfiguring the router to recognize changes in the frequency around it. As people move throughout their house, they move through the WiFi electromagnetic signals and change the frequency slightly. The researchers developed an algorithm to detect and interpret these changes, so that the WiSee can recognize up to 9 different gestures, ranging from a swipe of the hand to a boxing motion. With multiple antennae, the WiSee box can differentiate the gestures of up to 5 different people, in multiple rooms of the house.

Why I’m curious:

In theory, the technology could  be used to control any automated device and could be used throughout the space, since WiFi signals travel through walls and ceilings. This significantly increase the usage and functionality of gesture control technology.

For example, using a swipe hand motion in-air, a user could control the music volume while showering, or change the song playing in the living room while cooking, or turn up the thermostat while in bed.

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