The article and the embedded video do not make it entirely clear but if this technology could be deployed in existing Wi-Fi routers with relative ease  then it could have far-going implications for both privacy and the physical security of anywhere where there's Wi-Fi. Once it's easy enough to deploy on a hacked device that a hired script kiddie can do it even simple burglars could take an interest in residential routers to know when nobody's home.
I wonder if this will affect the market for embedded Linux security consulting in a major way.
 I.e., without modifying the hardware and with no need for manual calibration.
The WiSee proof-of-concept is implemented in GNURadio using the USRP-N210 hardware.
Each USRP is equipped with a XCVR2450 daughterboard, and
communicates on a 10 MHz channel at 5 GHz. Since USRPN210 boards cannot support multiple daughterboards, we
built a MIMO receiver by combining multiple USRP-N210s
using an external clock. In our evaluation, we use
MIMO receivers that have up to ﬁve antennas. We use single antenna USRP-N210s as transmitters.
So basically, they are using 6+ USRPs at $1400+ each to do these experiments. However, since each USRP is communicating on a 10MHz channel at 5GHz, someone with between two and five MIMO 802.11n Wi-Fi devices could theoretically do the same.
If you're really lucky you have a device with open source firmware . However even that firmware can only interface with the PHY layer by writing to registers to change the configuration of the device. Essentially the modulation of the signals is done in hardware, and you only control MAC aspects of it (things like disabling carrier sense is possible, changing backoff behavior, inter-frame wait timings, etc). But you can't access the real signal, it's a hardware limitation, so this not possible using existing devices.
That said, it's an excellent paper about a soft-based radar.
Send ultra sound from the laptop speaker, pickup with mic, detects hand guestures.
What's the range on this technology, and what happens if we move the router around with us? Maybe we take it to a new building and plug it in there? Or maybe we can use the wifi modules on phones to do this also? It sounds like a great scanning device. And how long before we can also see huge chunks of metal or strong magnets with this technology, based on how radio waves interact with them?
In a few years we could have tri-band routers covering 2.4Ghz, 5Ghz and 60Ghz. Correlating the info from all these frequencies should provide a much better picture.
I am sure the privacy folk out there are having multiple heart palpitations.
All I want to say is "bring it on"
I'm not sure if I qualify as one of the "privacy folk" or not, but I would say "As long as the police cannot compel you to install the thing and switch it on, or have an AI system issue search warrants in seconds based on what the machine reports." Unfortunately I think we will have both of those things 20 years from now.
Whether you consider this a fatal objection to the idea or a problem to be solved is an exercise for the reader. (The future is weird.)
I don't have the background to try to pull the limits up out of the white paper, but I think the current implementation is more or less looking for movement in 1 dimension (towards and away from the receiver). So plenty of time to decide whether radio waves are revealing anything that sight and sound are not.
> Me: It's the preamble to the spell where I invoke the deamons
> Neighbor: Why the stick?
> Me: Improves gain
What about pets moving around or turning the shower on?
For instance, if I'm on my couch and perform the gesture while my cat jumps on the couch arm between myself and the WiSee, what happens?
Or my cat is in the other room, but walks in front of the WiSee while I'm performing the gesture, what happens?
I think that's a bad example. The typical cat would soon learn not to enter the shower.
My black lab, however, would enter the shower every time I forgot to close the door.
Failures where the gesture is recognized as another gesture would be a lot more annoying.
Seriously, though, it reminds me of the "house of the future" from one of those ubiquitous films they showed us in elementary school way back in the day.
...and good luck determining whether the device is on or off.
It is a stretch to call this smarthome technology considering the ban on incandescent bulbs, which completely eliminate X10s ability to dim or fade bulbs (because you are using CFL, and if you use a x10 dimmer on a CFL, you can burn down a house), and writing any sort of logic based on whether the device is on or off is not possible.
Now Insteon supports bi-directional communication and you can determine state, but you are looking at $45 per outlet or switch versus the $8 X10 stuff.
So, yeah, still out of most people's price range, unless you want to settle for over 30 year old technology.
I know, I worked at a startup in the space. The people who are capable of spending the money will spend the extra necessary to get someone to install it for them. The people who would install it themselves can't afford even the basic systems, as you need quite a few devices before the things get useful.
The most profitable use we ever found for it was to provide light switches and thermostats in hotels, in places where the wiring in the walls wouldn't allow. That's about it.
(I think home automation sounds like a neat idea, but I always end up trying to figure out $10 of value that it would provide...)
I guess we'll get there at some point, but I'd rather prefer a $.10 for a wall-socket adapter with electronics. Much more versatile. I'd buy truckload of these and connect all stuff through it. As for lights, why not $.10 light bulb slot adapter?
> I think home automation sounds like a neat idea, but I always end up trying to figure out $10 of value that it would provide...
Fun and hackability, obviously :).
Anyway, if you look up through-wall radar detection, most of the implementations use S-band radar, and it is probably safe to assume that it's already been figured out how to use wifi stations and devices already in place emitting signals to each other, rather than always needing to bring additional equipment.
With regard to privacy though, it seems like it would be data and computationally intensive to track the movements of people in a large number of houses.
Let's say that a hypothetical application could only detect velocities away from or toward the base station, but no directional information. With each movement you make it would build a set of hypotheses about your location. Then when you make another movement, it would need to branch out, and create an entire set of hypotheses for each hypothesis in the previous set, and so on with each movement. While the program could abandon entire branches when they showed you walking through a wall, it would still grow very quickly.
Though it is possible to mine data of cell phone locations and CC television cameras after the fact, it seems like (if my understanding of how the technology would work is anything near reality) it is simply too difficult to collect a lot of information about people's movements in their homes without a specific prior reason to justify the expense.
Anyway, perhaps rather than tinfoil hats, people worried about surveillance should hang lots of mobile sculptures in their houses to create confounding noise instead.
Using these together significantly reduces the chance of a false positive than just using one type on its own.
So, you could use this to replace the microwave sensor in the dual tech sensors but you would still need the PIR.
The article is talking about phased array stuff, stuff you can't do with stock wifi equipment. All the regular wifi equipment is just providing the "light" the special receiver needs to see.
Or are you just spamming?