WiTrack tracks 3D Motion through walls and obstacles using radio signals
The only problem with gaming consoles, even with motion sensing ones like the Kinect, is that you have to be in front of the console to enjoy to the fullest. This limits fun that you can have with video games. There are a few Wi-Fi enabled motion sensing devices, which allow you to use real environment to play in the virtual environment through real time 3D motion tracking. Stretching this prowess to an all new realm is the WiTrack, a technology developed by MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), which uses radio signals to allow highly accurate 3D motion tracking without cameras or controllers. The system employs radio signals to track a player through walls etc pinpointing the person’s 3D location to within 10-20cm.
The WiTrack (by a team led by Dina Katabi) lets a player transform his/her entire home into a virtual world, while playing a video game. The radio signals of the device keep constant lookout on your 3D location as you run down hallways or hide behind walls and couches. The Wi-Fi enabled 3D motion tracking devices have made this possible in the past, but the problem with such devices is that they cannot get very accurate location accuracy with Wi-Fi signals. This is where WiTrack is better with radio signals.
WiTrack basically tracks radio signals reflected by the player’s body to nail down his/her location and movement. For this, WiTrack uses four antennas. One is used to transmit signals, and three are used for receiving. A geometric model of the player’s location is built by the transmitted signals of the antennas. This reflection model is then used to estimate the distance between the user and the antennas. The WiTrack is able to track a player’s motion and location through obstructions like walls and staircases, which make the system useful for many other application beyond just gaming.
The development team of WiTrack is presently working on developing a system to track more the one person at a time.