Skip to comments.Wi-Fi signals enable gesture recognition throughout entire home
Posted on 06/06/2013 6:01:49 PM PDT by conserv8
Wi-Fi signals enable gesture recognition throughout entire home By Michelle Ma
News and Information
Posted under: Engineering, News Releases, Research, Technology
Forget to turn off the lights before leaving the apartment? No problem. Just raise your hand, finger-swipe the air, and your lights will power down. Want to change the song playing on your music system in the other room? Move your hand to the right and flip through the songs. A hand gesture changes the TV channel.
U of Washington
A hand gesture changes the TV channel using WiSee technology.
University of Washington computer scientists have developed gesture-recognition technology that brings this a step closer to reality. Researchers have shown its possible to leverage Wi-Fi signals around us to detect specific movements without needing sensors on the human body or cameras.
By using an adapted Wi-Fi router and a few wireless devices in the living room, users could control their electronics and household appliances from any room in the home with a simple gesture.
This is repurposing wireless signals that already exist in new ways, said lead researcher Shyam Gollakota, a UW assistant professor of computer science and engineering. You can actually use wireless for gesture recognition without needing to deploy more sensors.
The UW research team that includes Shwetak Patel, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering and of electrical engineering and his lab, published their findings online this week. This technology, which they call WiSee, is to appear at The 19th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking.
The concept is similar to Xbox Kinect a commercial product that uses cameras to recognize gestures but the UW technology is simpler, cheaper and doesnt require users to be in the same room as the device they want to control. Thats because Wi-Fi signals can travel through walls and arent bound by line-of-sight or sound restrictions.
The UW researchers built a smart receiver device that essentially listens to all of the wireless transmissions coming from devices throughout a home, including smartphones, laptops and tablets. A standard Wi-Fi router could be adapted to function as a receiver.
When a person moves, there is a slight change in the frequency of the wireless signal. Moving a hand or foot causes the receiver to detect a pattern of changes known as the Doppler frequency shift. Wireless signal changes in real time
U of Washington
A change in the wireless signal is shown in real time as a user moves his hand.
These frequency changes are very small only several hertz when compared with Wi-Fi signals that have a 20 megahertz bandwidth and operate at 5 gigahertz. Researchers developed an algorithm to detect these slight shifts. The technology also accounts for gaps in wireless signals when devices arent transmitting.
The technology can identify nine different whole-body gestures, ranging from pushing, pulling and punching to full-body bowling. The researchers tested these gestures with five users in a two-bedroom apartment and an office environment. Out of the 900 gestures performed, WiSee accurately classified 94 percent of them.
This is the first whole-home gesture recognition system that works without either requiring instrumentation of the user with sensors or deploying cameras in every room, said Qifan Pu, a collaborator and visiting student at the UW.
The system requires one receiver with multiple antennas. Intuitively, each antenna tunes into a specific users movements, so as many as five people can move simultaneously in the same residence without confusing the receiver. WiSee antenna diagram
U of Washington
WiSee technology uses multiple antennas to focus on one user to detect the persons gesture.
If a person wants to use the WiSee, she would perform a specific repetition gesture sequence to get access to the receiver. This password concept would also keep the system secure and prevent a neighbor or hacker from controlling a device in your home.
Once the wireless receiver locks onto the user, she can perform normal gestures to interact with the devices and appliances in her home. The receiver would be programmed to understand that a specific gesture corresponds to a specific device.
Collaborators Patel and Sidhant Gupta, a doctoral student in computer science and engineering, have worked with Microsoft Research on two similar technologies SoundWave, which uses sound, and Humantenna, which uses radiation from electrical wires that both sense whole-body gestures. But WiSee stands apart because it doesnt require the user to be in the same room as the receiver or the device.
In this way, a smart home could become a reality, allowing you to turn off the oven timer with a simple wave of the hand, or turn on the coffeemaker from your bed.
The researchers plan to look next at the ability to control multiple devices at once. The initial work was funded by the UW department of computer science and engineering
Which gesture do I use if I see Obama’s mug come up on the TV?
I’m sure the gov’t will never attempt to use this technology to monitor our movements in our homes.
Soon followed by a knock on the door!! Be careful comrade.
Soon one will be able to use gestures to release certain hormones (ahem) in people.
I wonder if they will be able to decipher the "gesture" I will be sending their way.
Not cool. Who knows what would happen if I scratched by butt or picked my nose. No thanks, I’m not so lazy that I can’t turn off the lights. Heck, just leave them on because in about 30 minutes the four legged creatures will either want in or out and I’ll have to get up anyway.
“Just raise your hand, finger-swipe the air, and your lights will power down. Want to change the song playing on your music system in the other room? Move your hand to the right and flip through the songs. A hand gesture changes the TV channel.”
What happens when you do the funky chicken?
Hmmm, how about a wand .... flick and swish
How about the Hokey Pokey? This could spawn a new era of reality TV. :)
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