WiSee lets homeowners control their electronics and appliances from any room using WiFi signals.
Every day we are inching closer and closer to the possibility of a Smart House, where appliances are controlled by voice and even hand gestures. Researchers at the University of Washington have announced new gesture-recognition technology that harnesses WiFi signals to enable users to control appliances all over the house, no matter what room you are in.
Similar to the Microsoft Xbox Kinect, where gestures are recognized by the camera, WiSee goes one step beyond by removing the need for cameras or any technology other than a wireless router. The system works by reconfiguring the router to recognize changes in the frequency around it. As people move throughout their house, they move through the WiFi electromagnetic signals and change the frequency slightly. The researchers developed an algorithm to detect and interpret these changes, so that the WiSee can recognize up to 9 different gestures, ranging from a swipe of the hand to a boxing motion. With multiple antennae, the WiSee box can differentiate the gestures of up to 5 different people, in multiple rooms of the house.
In theory, the technology could be used to control any automated device and could be used throughout the house, since WiFi signals travel through walls and ceilings. The possibilities are endless, as lead researcher Shyam Gollakota explains in the research paper:
For example, using a swipe hand motion in-air, a user could control the music volume while showering, or change the song playing in the living room while cooking, or turn up the thermostat while in bed.
WiSee will appear at The 19th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, and perhaps one day soon, in your home.
Watch a demonstration of WiSee below: