Wi-Fi radiation can now produce hologram-like images

Researchers were able to use the waves to map surrounding areas.

May 11, 2017

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Researchers were able to use the waves to map surrounding areas.

Through a new technique, microwave radiation can produce 3D images of surrounding areas. (Source: Technical University of Munich)

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich have found a way to create 3D images using Wi-Fi as a transmitter. The process works using the microwave radiation of the transmitter and requires only a single antenna. The effect is being compared to holograms, but this technology doesn't require sophisticated laser technology to produce images.

For now, this technique will only produce images of the surrounding area. This could be useful for security or monitoring, though. Since Wi-Fi signals can penetrate walls, it could be possible to use this technology to show when someone enters or exits a space on the other side of a wall.

A promising feature of the technology is that it works using the typical bandwidths of home routers, which operate on the 2.4G and 5GHz bands. Researchers say this technology will also work using Bluetooth and cell phone signals.

The researchers played down privacy concerns for this technology. Project leader Friedmann Reinhard said it's unlikely this would be used to peer into others' bedrooms. "For that, you would need to go around the building with a large antenna, which would hardly go unnoticed," he said.

This technology is reminiscent of Wi-Fi "radar" security already on the market. The hologram-like images are more impressive, though. This kind of technology could certainly raise the bar for home security if it develops that far and is affordable. The researchers are currently thinking of all the commercial applications this technology could be used for like helping first responders navigate terrain after a disaster or find trapped survivors.

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