Summary of Seeing Through Walls

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9 Overall

8 Importance

10 Innovation

8 Style


Seeing through walls is no longer a fictional superpower. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a wireless device that can detect and identify people in adjacent rooms – and that’s just the start. In an engaging presentation, MIT researcher Fadel Adib explains how this cutting-edge technology works and how it could solve societal problems. getAbstract believes that you don’t have to be a fan of science, or even science fiction, to find this breakthrough fascinating. 

In this summary, you will learn

  • How MIT researchers invented technology that can see through walls and
  • Why their breakthroughs can help improve individuals’ quality of life.  

About the Speaker

Fadel Adib is an assistant professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the founding director of Signal Kinetics Research Group.



MIT researchers have developed a device that can “see through walls” by detecting moving targets, such as people, in another room. The device emits low-power wireless signals that travel through walls, bounce off people’s bodies and return. Then, the device’s built-in artificial intelligence analyzes the signals to determine the target’s location, movement, and more. The technology allows people to turn on appliances, such as a TV or lamp, merely by pointing – even if the appliances are out of sight. This breakthrough didn’t come easily. The wireless signal loses much of its strength by traversing the walls, and only a tiny portion of the signal bounces back. In fact, the returning signal is 10 billion times smaller than the one emitted. Moreover, developers had to teach the wireless device to ignore signals reflecting from inanimate objects and to zero in on the movements of human bodies.

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