See through walls via wireless network


Researchers at the University of Utah have been able to detect movement in a room based on variations in wireless signals. Accurate to about a meter, they are using a 34 node wireless network to do their sensing.  As a person moves, they change the signals, and can therefore be detected. They state one possible application being rescue workers deploying multiple wireless nodes around a building to find people located inside.

[via Gizmodo]


  1. Blizzarddemon says:

    fascinating, this is like the keyboard burst frequency detection that was use to dump keystrokes, cept controlling wifi to do something like infrared.

  2. wompninja says:

    This is awesome! Go Utes!

  3. lumpaloompalue says:

    Reminds me of those “life form” sensors you see in sci-fi all the time.

  4. ReKlipz says:


    This is _not_ WiFi.

  5. Kiwisaft says:

    locate people, if they are moving

  6. Noobius says:

    I think a FLIR camera is cheaper than 34 wireless nodes. Also a lot more sensitive.

  7. Caleb Kraft says:

    good catch.

  8. Tim says:

    Trust me, this will never be practical.

  9. samurai says:

    Ok, I trust you.


  10. monkeyslayer56 says:

    cool my not be the best way of doing things but still very cool

  11. justin says:

    First:cool as hell
    Second: Maybe I am missing something but I wonder if this could be implemented with standard wifi, if not could some one give me an explanation as to why not, I am thinking to much interference.

  12. tinker monkey says:

    I think this amazing new discovery is called Radio Active Detecting And Range-ing .RADAR ! ! !

  13. saimhe says:

    Perhaps a RADAR but based on communications modules available to anyone. From the article:

    “They’ve even tested the idea with a 34-node wireless network using the IEEE 802.15.4 wireless protocol, the protocol for personal area networks employed by home automation services such as ZigBee.”

    Now I’m wondering how thick the walls can be; and would it eventually be possible to build a georadar with useful range (yes, a lot sexier than a metal detector).

  14. James says:

    Not really radar though is it, as that uses phase scattering, this uses intensity measurement? Still an interesting use of existing kit, I like it. Maybe its RIMDAR? (Radio intensity motion detection and ranging) :-)

  15. Kee Coyote says:

    Combine with a power generating bra and women in the infratry will have more power for their equipment than men. :D

  16. scott topic says:

    didn’t they do this in batman? with cell phones.

  17. please don’t mention that part of the movie it was pretty embarassing

  18. cptfalcon says:

    in batman they had a much more complex problem, the positions of the receivers were not known with fine granularity beyond gps/cell triangulation, where in this case it seems the locations were fairly well known.

  19. calebkraft says:

    wrong story I think. was that meant for the power producing backpack?

  20. Bob38 says:

    Time to put up the metal wallpaper in every room of the house.

  21. cde says:

    I can also figure out if a wifi signal exists or not if someone moves. Physical intrusions in a wifi path kill my pirated signal :O

  22. ReKlipz says:


    The article doesn’t mention anything other than 802.15.4, which can be any of three ranges of frequencies. [1] I would assume this is 2.4GHz though, which means it may be feasible with 802.11, depending on the topology type they were using and whether or not the same signal attributes are available in the 802.11 specification.


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