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Eerie AI can ‘spy’ on people using a common household gadget which has no cameras

RESEARCHERS have managed to detect 3D shapes and the movements of human bodies in a room – using a WiFi router.

Such technology may eventually replace normal cameras, researchers in the US hope.


Researchers mapped out images of people using the WiFi signals emitted from a normal router through AI software called DensePoseCredit: densepose

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, based in Pittsburgh in the US, said that WiFi overcomes hang-ups that regulator cameras experience like poor lighting.

“Most households in developed countries already have WiFi at home, and this technology may be scaled to monitor the well-being of elder people or just identify suspicious behaviours at home,” researchers wrote in their latest research paper.

They don’t explain what they mean by “suspicious behaviours”, but the likes of Amazon is already developing a Ring camera drone to watch over your home from the inside while you’re away.

Many believe the tech will make them less of a target for intruders and help them gain valuable footage if a burglary has unfortunately taken place.

The popularity of the Ring doorbell suggests that consumers are increasingly interested in making their homes more secure with smart tech.

Researchers managed to make out images of people in a room through the WiFi signals emitted from a normal router.

They used a pixel mapping system called DensePose to trace around human bodies and track their movements.

DensePose is an artificial intelligence (AI) software built by Facebook and Imperial College London researchers.

While it is a new revelation, researchers have been trying to ‘see’ people without using cameras or expensive hardware for some time.

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2013 discovered a way to see through walls using mobile phone signals.

The images that come out of using WiFi signals and DensePose are still pretty basic and have a long way to go before they conduct any real ‘spying’ on behalf of consumers.

The imaging can pick up on gestures and actions, but the quality of the picture remains poor in comparison to the average camera.

However, researchers at Meta, which owns Facebook, are looking to go a step further further with the imaging quality.

But currently surface-based image interpretation is needed, to see what type of clothes someone in the image is wearing for example.

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