We’re not quite in an age of superhuman X-Ray vision yet, but now we have technology on our side in that department.
New tech developed by researchers and students at MIT (led by Dina Kataeb) allows us to see through walls as a means to track and identify people. As of now, the conceived uses include monitoring the sick and the elderly, a well as search-and-rescue missions for law enforcement. It can prove useful for practical purposes as well, such as preventing accidental drilling through cables and pipes.
It’s called RF-Pose, and it can tell us whether someone is standing, walking, sitting, and can even include interactions as subtle as waving. While it does have a little bit of a foreboding “Big Brother” vibe going on (what else does it track?), this technology provides new and innovative insight on patients of health care providers, such as assessing their level of functionality.
This could then help researchers better understand a multitude of diseases, furthering the chance of finding a cure.
RF-Pose is just one of the many ways that Artificial Intelligence is making sweeps in the healthcare industry. It uses AI to interpret radio wave data, beaming out waves which pass through walls but bounces off our bodies due to the quantity of water within.
But some have protested that this is just another invasion of privacy which the new era of tech has ushered into our lives.
While these advancements will help improve and even save the lives of many, it does raise the question of our present and future privacy.
Katabi has responded to this question by reassuring the curious that her team has “developed mechanisms to block the use of the technology, and it anonymizes and encrypts the data.”
We’re not sure how this tech will have an impact if it gets in the wrong hands or those of an, especially savvy hacker. Until then, we’re excited to see what other breakthroughs and insights Katabi and her team come up with.