Tracking Subjects Outside of Line of Sight

Is there a better way to track someone on the other side of a wall than by using wi-fi signals? How about adding radio waves? WiTrack is a device recently developed by researchers at MIT that uses wi-fi to track objects. An antenna on the device sends a signal to the subject, while the other three wait for a response and measure the delay to triangulate a position. The device can also track the movement of its subject.

Due to bandwidth limitations, however, wi-fi makes it difficult to accurately track location. That’s why an extremely weak radio signal was added to the device. Now, the device can track movement to within eight inches, sometimes being as accurate as four inches. The device can even track a subject’s position in a room three-dimensionally, where the wi-fi-only device could only track two-dimensionally.

What are the applications of this technology? It could be used in a rescue situation to find someone that has been trapped inside a structure. It could also be used to find a criminal’s location within a structure in a hostage situation. Elderly persons can be located in their home when paramedics arrive on scene.

There are applications to video games, as well. Right now, all the major systems have spatial recognition software, but they require a clear line of sight to the device. This technology would remove that limitation.