We can all stop being Clark Kent.



X-Ray Vision is Here, and it's Going to Change the World

We spent ages saving up our allowance to buy X-Ray Spex, and we were so disappointed when they turned out to be total baloney. Well it’s time to start saving up again, because all of our childhood dreams are coming true. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created something they call RF-Capture, a technique that uses a Wi-Fi signal—yes, Wi-Fi—to detect human bodies behind walls, doors, and other obstructions.

When a signal is emitted, it passes through the wall and reflects off the person on the other side. When the signal reaches the machine, special software records the data and cleans up all of the extraneous noise, projecting a cohesive silhouette of the person. RF-Capture can detect up to 15 different people, and can also tell exactly who is behind that wall by establishing and identifying person-specific details like height and shoulder-width.


As cool as all of this is, the team at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab hope that RF-Capture’s technology will be used for much more than just impressing your friends. One of the researchers, Professor Dina Katabi, hopes to use it to “gain a deeper understanding on the health front.” RF-Capture can read a person’s heart and breathing rate, and already in the works is a machine that can sit in the home of an elderly family member, detect when they have fallen over, and automatically dial 911.

Alas, we still don’t have the power to see through people’s clothes. But a super cool party trick and legitimate life-saver? That’s way more than those janky plastic goggles we sent away for can ever hope to be. The reality that RF-Capture’s developers envision is as spectacular as it is attainable, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

Images vie DC Comics and Gizmodo

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