Wi-Fi Signals Enable Gesture Recognition Throughout Entire Home

In a rather interesting development reminiscent of many sci-fi innovations, scientists have developed a way to use existing Wi-Fi signals throughout a house for gesture recognition to control certain functions.  Here is the article:


Gesture-based interaction has already found its way into the modern home market via gaming systems.  Nintendo’s Wii was the big innovator, and the XBox Kinect and PlayStation Move were right on its heels.  All three systems use slightly different methods of gesture recognition to let the physical body control the system.  No longer were gamers bound by the manipulation of a controller; now your own physicality could accomplish your goals.

But this, of course, was just for gaming.  Now, finally, gesture-based controls have found a way out of the gaming world to everyday life.  With this new technology, one can control the functions of your house or appliances by the controlled motion of your own body.  The first example in the article–turning off some lights with the flick of your wrist–should be enough to lead to a whole bunch of other imagined uses.  This is certainly cool and exciting, but here’s what I like most about it:  It uses technology that is already present in most homes.

It is the usage of wi-fi to accomplish this goal that I find most innovative.  No new system, no new sensors, no new technology was required to enact this innovation.  And it makes a certain kind of sense: wi-fi signals pervade a house or apartment where it’s used, so why not use the physical bounce of the signal to control something?  By measuring the slight Doppler effect that occurs when the wi-fi signal encounters a moving body, actions can be performed accordingly.

Controlling appliances, operating media, changing a thermostat, opening a garage door…. anything hooked up to an electronic circuit can be controlled though simple body gestures.  As the article infers, this is a great step closer to a true “smart home.”  Currently, systems exist that let you use your phone or other mobile device to control certain things, but why use another device?  Now you can just use yourself.

And to top it all off, since wi-fi signals can go through walls, you can gesture from anywhere within your wi-fi range.  Pretty cool, huh?  Smart homes just took another huge leap forward.



  1. Reblogged this on moxbox.

  2. […] immediately reminded me of my previous post here about using the ambient wi-fi signals in a home to enable gesture recognition for the control of […]

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