Scientists at MIT Just Created "X-Ray Vision" That Can Let Humans See Through Walls

Source: Getty Images

If you ever dreamed of having X-ray vision as a kid, you may want to sit down for this.

Researchers at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have devised a contraption that allows users to see through walls, reports Popular Science. Called the RF-Capture, it transmits a wireless signal which is directed at a body on the other side of the wall. Once the signal bounces off the body and returns back to the device, it uses an algorithm to map out the person's silhouette. 

It can analyze the figures of up to 15 individuals correctly — since every body looks different, it's important to be able to accurately differentiate them — as well as their movements and posture.

Take a look at RF-Capture in action:

Source: Mic/YouTube

The device is a continuation of research that began in 2013, according to Popular Science. The paper that detailed the concept will be presented in November at the Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques Asia conference, a technical and creative gathering in Japan.

Watch the full demonstration here:

Source: YouTube

The researchers behind the project say that its cool factor isn't the only thing RF-Capture has going for it. The technology also has applications far beyond the recreational. 

"We're working to turn this technology into an in-home device that can call 911 if it detects that a family member has fallen unconscious," co-author and MIT professor Dina Katabi said in a press release. "You could also imagine it being used to operate your lights and TVs, or to adjust your heating by monitoring where you are in the house." 

Source: Mic/Youtube

The team is already looking to expand on the commercial opportunities for the technology. In August, they attended the White House's Demo Day, where they pitched a product called Emerald, designed to aid in fall prevention for the elderly, to President Barack Obama.

"The possibilities are vast," co-author Fadel Adib said in the press release. "We're just at the beginning of thinking about the different ways to use these technologies." And our 6-year-old selves couldn't be happier about it.

h/t Popular Science

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Sophie Kleeman

Sophie is a staff writer at Mic covering the intersection of tech and culture. She's based in New York and can be reached at sophie@mic.com.

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