Announced a new management system technology through Wi-Fi network. Specialists of the Washington University have developed a rather interesting system. Gesture recognition through Wi-Fi: a smart home can be a reality.
The team of the developers has designed WiSee technology which recognizes gestures with the help of Wi-Fi. The project was logically called “WiSee”. The system registers the change in the frequency of the wireless signal and converts it to commands.
The Washington University developers offer to refuse from the use of the remotes at home and control all electronic devices with the help of simple and understandable gestures. It is announced that the users will be able to control electronics and household appliances with a swift gesture in any room of the house.
All these can be used, for example, at home – to turn off the light next room, or to change the volume of the player. All the user has to do is to make a certain gesture understandable for WiSee. It is possible to switch the channel or change the musical track by the simple gesture of the hand or even one finger with its help.
Just imagine that you will be able to change the volume of the acoustic system placed in other room, or turn on the central climate control unit with a swift gesture. And this is without any carried sensors, video cameras, and other special devices. This system of the gestural control is developed in the University of Washington (USA).
Theoretically, such system may be ideal control center of a “smart house”. Turning off the light in the house, turning on the TV on the second floor becomes possible with WiSee.
The mechanism of its work consists in the registration and analysis of the slightest changes of the signal of the wireless network Wi-Fi caused by the movements of the user. A “smart” receiver (a modified Wi-Fi router may be used) fixes a Doppler frequency shift.
When a person moves, a slight change appears in the frequency of the wireless signal. The movement of the hand or leg leads that sensors of the router specially designed by the engineers, detect this change known as the Doppler frequency shift.
The researchers have developed an algorithm which records these slight shifts in several hertz. According to the words of the authors of the work this is the first system which works without additional sensors or cameras. WiSee consists of the receiver with many antennas. Each antenna is tuned in intuitively to the movement of the concrete user.
Moreover, periods of time are taken into account when the wireless devices do not broadcast the signal. The obtained data are analyzed and converted to the control commands of the computer or home devices.
Gestures are recognized not by Wi-Fi router but sensors specially designed for this. The entire essence of the technology is in sensors which catch the reflected signal from the Wi-Fi router and software which processes the obtained data of the sensors. It is supposed that the sensors should be very sensitive in order to detect slight shifts of the reflected signal, and the software should contain a lot of signatures in order to process the data of the sensors. Most likely, the system will react to the movements incorrectly at the initial stage.
WiSee is similar to Xbox Kinect, a Microsoft playing controller which uses cameras in order to recognize gestures. However, WiSee is cheaper and easy-to-use. It also does not require from the user that he/she will be in the same room with the controlled device because Wi-Fi signal passes through the walls.
Unlike other systems of the gesture detection such as Kinect or Leap Motion WiSee manages without cameras and there is no need to be in the direct visibility at TV. Moreover, the signal may pass even through the walls, and therefore it is possible to control the electronics even from anther room. WiSee estimates the wireless signal from the various devices in the house such as smartphones or laptops. These signals pierce the human body, are partially reflected from it and go to the router where they are analyzed and used to control literally everything – from the temperature in the room to the electronic devices.
There is also a support of the MIMO principle (multiple-input, multiple-output) in the technology, i.e. it allows working with several users at the same time. Each user has its own set of the different commands which he/she does before the system will be in the mode of the gesture perception.
In order to recognize the gesture the change of the signal level of the wireless network is tracked, for example, not only the router but also laptop, smartphone and other gadgets connected to Wi-Fi.
The developers state that WiSee is the first system of the gesture recognition which does need cameras, or any additional devices. The project equipment catches the signals of the usual home network and works with these signals.
In the current edition the complex is able to recognize none gestures including by the entire body. The use of the receiver with several antennas allows working with 5 people at the same time. The WiSee conception provides for the use of the original security system and identification of the users. The activation of the receiver, WiSee is performed by the special gesture, and only the user knows it. For registration it is necessary to perform the sequence of the certain gestures in the fixed order. This allows to protect the system against interference. This is a peculiar password which will protect the system against the hacking attack and the accidental recognition of the neighbors’ gestures. Then the user may turn on and turn off the electrical appliances, regulate the temperature and control lamps by the motions of the hands. As the Wi-Fi signals pass through the walls it is possible to give household appliances and computers commands even from another room.
The receiver may be programmed, so that separate groups of the gestures will serve for the control of certain household appliances or computer devices.
The developers have tested the system in the office and domestic establishments with two bedrooms. Five persons took part in the test. The prototype tuned out effective in 94% of tests. It means that 94% of the developers’ gestures programmed in the system were recognized correctly. The test was conducted in the apartment with two bedrooms.
WiSee prospects directly depend on the popularity of the “smart” houses because the system positions itself as a tool of their control. According to the words of the developers of the system a new technology may perform a revolution in the control of the household appliances.
Soon the authors of WiSee intend to improve their system. The results of the work will be represented on XIX annual international conference MobiCom-2013 devoted to the mobile technologies and wireless networks which will be held from September 30 to October 4 in Miami (Florida, USA).
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Gesture recognition is the latest fad in games and tech, but even the newest systems require high-tech depth-sensing cameras or other special hardware. Want to switch off the living room lights from bed, change channels while washing dishes, or turn the heat up from the couch? A new management system WiSee recognizes gestures with the help of Wi-Fi: smart home can be a reality. WiSee Home Page: http://wisee.cs.washington.edu/
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