Wi-Fi signals are not for the wireless network only. As The Economist writes, scholars from Pittsburgh think that through home Wi-Fi, they can determine the speed of movement, posture, heart rate, etc.
In a report prepared by those scholars, they describe how they triggered Wi-Fi signals from a room with Wi-Fi routers. They also used AI, which was trained on signals from people engaged in various activities. This algorithm was able to draw moving digital portraits of people in a room and their poses.
Your Home Wi-Fi Can Be Dangerous
Prior to this, other scholars have managed to create a similar tech that can obtain 2D poses based on 17 “vector points” on the body. They include the head, chest, knees, elbows, and hands. Unlike the latter, this one creates “2.5D” portraits that track 24 vector points. Other than that, there is an improved version, which can make full 3D images of the body. It can track 100s of vector points. What’s more important, in the previous tests, scholars used advanced hardware. But these scientists used standard antennas of home Wi-Fi routers.
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Such an approach can help people “monitor the well-being of the aged people.” Another team from Florida suggests the tech could be used in interactive games or when doing sports. Agree that this is a good tool to track exercises.
But the first thing that comes to our minds is that home Wi-Fi signals can be used for surveillance and espionage. In 2018, for example, scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, showed how hackers working outside someone’s home could track the movements of the people inside by intercepting outgoing Wi-Fi signals.
No one knows who sponsors the work of the team from Pittsburgh. However, their other project — a tech that can detect specific human behavior in surveillance footage — is being paid for by IARPA. It’s a state research center, which oversees America’s spies.