From the laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the United States, a group of scientists has developed a software capable of identifying with great accuracy if someone is on the other side of an opaque wall and how it moves.
What we thought was a science fiction thing is now a reality.
This team led by the researcher Dina Katabi created a system based on artificial intelligence capable of identifying and recreating human movements. Beyond medicine, the system could be used in the field of video games, entertainment or security.
How does it work?
The power of radio frequency
The specialists named the software the name of RF-Pose and the technology that governs it DE RF-Capture, because it uses radio frequency (RF) waves.
"We use a camera and we take pictures of people in one place, and we broadcast radio signals there," Katabi told the BBC.
Little by little, computer scientists were teaching the machine how to "see" using several examples to identify people.
Thus, the neural network can analyze the signals and generate a skeletal figure in 3D that walks, feels, runs, dances or gestures like a human, imitating the movements that the person is doing at that moment.
MIT expects that in a few years this software will help doctors to identify early signs of diseases such as Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis or muscular dystrophy, especially in the elderly.
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The idea is to better understand the progression of those evils that affect body movement, but also help older people to have more independence.
In fact, MIT says that its team is currently collaborating with doctors to start applying the system in the field of medicine.
The technology is able to effectively identify someone in a row of 100 people in 83% of cases.
"You do not see details of the person's face or fingers, but you can get an idea of the height and width of the person," he told BBC Fadel Adib, another of the scientists involved in the project.
"In the future we will be able to see through the walls even in high definition," he added. "And probably also through the bodies of people using wireless signals."
The system creates what is known as "heat images" and turns them into figures that move in space, identifying the different parts of the body and showing the movements in a natural way.
But it could also have malicious applications or that present ethical dilemmas.
Only with consent
One of the main points for it to work was to protect the privacy of users.
"If someone wants to use this technology to monitor someone without their consent, we have a test that makes the device check if the person gave their consent," Katabi explained.
"After we separated any identifiable information and encrypted it."
"There must be policies that regulate how technology is used."
Will these be the first steps of a technology that will be omnipresent in a few years?
Taken from: El País