WiFi Networks Watch You While You Sleep

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WiFi Networks Watch You While You Sleep

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Scientists have discovered that WiFi signals can be used to measure fluctuations in a person's breathing, a breakthrough that opens up a whole new realm of secret surveillance possibilities.

Did you know that the simple act of breathing is enough to affect the signal strength of wireless equipment? Apparently so; Professor Neal Patwari, the director of the Sensing and Processing Across Networks lab at the University of Utah noticed the signal variations while testing some new equipment awhile back, which led him to set up an experiment to see just how accurate a wireless detection system could be.

He set up 20 "inexpensive, off-the-shelf" wireless devices broadcasting at 2.4 Ghz around a hospital bed, set to measure signal strength at four times per second, and then had a quick lie-down. The signals bent around his chest as it rose and fell with his breathing, causing fluctuations in travel time and signal strength; after just 30 seconds, the network was able to estimate his breathing rate to within 0.4 breaths per second.

Patwari said the technology could be adapted for use in sleep studies and lung capacity tests, both of which currently require patients to be hooked up to machines via cumbersome wires and tubes. But I think we all know that the real value of this technology is far more sinister. An earlier study by Patwari showed how wall-penetrating WiFi signals could be used to track movement from outside a home, but the accuracy demonstrated by this new test opens up a whole new realm of surveillance possibilities, allowing the Powers That Be to track people with far greater fidelity than ever before, just about anywhere they go. They may not be watching you yet, but they will be soon. And they'll be using your Dlink to do it.

Source: New Scientist

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obviously now instead of just having a room covered in tin foil, along with my hat, I must have my router covered in foil also.

CONSPIRACY THEORY'S, AWAY!

Kalezian:
obviously now instead of just having a room covered in tin foil, along with my hat, I must have my router covered in foil also.

CONSPIRACY THEORY'S, AWAY!

Perhaps this is all just being engineered by the tinfoil companies?

They must be making huge profits from all this!

Irridium:

Kalezian:
obviously now instead of just having a room covered in tin foil, along with my hat, I must have my router covered in foil also.

CONSPIRACY THEORY'S, AWAY!

Perhaps this is all just being engineered by the tinfoil companies?

They must be making huge profits from all this!

You know out of most conspiracy theory's that's about the most plausable one I've heard

on another note what did I ever do to wi-fi to be betrayed like this but it go's to show the things that one would not suspect are sometimes the most dangerous ones but i guess it depends on the praticality of it all can you accurately identify people with it or is it more of a case of this room has people in type of thing

I just hope they don't make the system sensitive enough to read lips

Kalezian:
obviously now instead of just having a room covered in tin foil, along with my hat, I must have my router covered in foil also.

CONSPIRACY THEORY'S, AWAY!

Now the Dark One can read your mind AND your movements!
O.O

We already knew that meat was a fairly good blocker of wireless signals. If you have a single antenna or use a usb wifi adapter, you can see this yourself by grabbing it and enclosing it in your fist. Watch the signal level drop!

So what? As it stands, WiFi can be used to determine the presence of a living being, not its identity.

I don't see this catching on anytime soon. The problem with being sensitive enough to pick that up, it's sensitive to pick up all sorts of other things. Also, usually paranoid ramblings, though not overblown this time: meh.

On a related note, certain marine animals can detect prey hidden in the seabed by their heartbearts (working better underwater, of course).

Ser Imp:
I just hope they don't make the system sensitive enough to read lips

Kalezian:
obviously now instead of just having a room covered in tin foil, along with my hat, I must have my router covered in foil also.

CONSPIRACY THEORY'S, AWAY!

Now the Dark One can read your mind AND your movements!
O.O

*quickly puts on tinfoil hat*

OT: I wouldnt of expected this from wifi.

THERE WATCHING US!!

Irridium:

Kalezian:
obviously now instead of just having a room covered in tin foil, along with my hat, I must have my router covered in foil also.

CONSPIRACY THEORY'S, AWAY!

Perhaps this is all just being engineered by the tinfoil companies?

They must be making huge profits from all this!

You just blew my mind there.

I can't see this really being used to track anyone. It wouldn't be reliable unless someone stayed within a fairly small distance of the tracking routers. If that's the case, all the tracking information will say what you already know.

Maybe it could be used for proximity-based security, like alarms.

so what happens if the patient rolls over in the night? will it think they're dead?

The Escapist, if its a story about technology then its either evil robot apocalypses, zombie apocalypses or the big brother. WE R WRITRS!!
Seriously, though your repertoire of jokes is getting old Escapist.

I think the difference between tracking a single still object and multiple moving objects is pretty substantial and would hamper supposed efforts to track people, especially when there are far easier methods of doing so, like camera. It'd be interesting to see if could be used to help in sleep experiments though as it would be far less invasive then... well anything. I don't think anything will come of it though, WiFi doesn't seems like a hot source of monitoring technology. Maybe if they adapted it. (oh and if you want to stick on your tinfoil hats then all you have to do is grab a Faraday cage and walk around in it. BAM, No more wifi tracking.)

Oh boy, it would be funny if signal interference indicated the patient having a heart attack. small scale use in observed areas would work however using it in the field is a waste of resources.

Well since WiFi signals and the like, can fuck your body up pretty bad anyway, it doesnt suprise me that it can also be used to spy on you..

Its a crazy world we live in..

So WiFi could be used to find out if people have sleep apnea then? Well I think that may actually be a plus for the medical world. As for the surveillance that doesn't bother me since every electronic device these day is spying on you from you GPS to your phone and especially you Xbox 360 through your achievements. Everyone is watching you!

Well, this certainly makes Assassin's Creed: Brotherhoods cell phone surveillance thing a lot more plausible and close to home.

So, this means that somebody monitoring my internet connectivity can tell that I do in fact breathe oxygen.

I guess that might be useful to somebody at some point.

Best picture choice for an article ever. I just have to call it out. It's from the greatest X-Files episode and I'm so glad you used it.

Well I've got a plan! I'll just not breath, that way Big Brother can no longer know I'm home!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-

*dies*

Fortunately, all these "the government is watching you" scenarios have the same solution.

The government employs, say, 10% of the population. To be generous. The vast majority of these serve in harmless applications... diplomats, politicians, chow hall workers, park rangers, road construction, toll booths... for the military, being in their first few years and still standing at the gate waiting for their shift to end. They're not being trusted with any super-secret surveilance.

So say that 0.5% of those 10% are actually sitting in front of a monitor trying to figure out what the general public is doing. I don't care how much data they have, SOMEONE has to crunch it all. Someone needs to actually sit down and look over that data, and each of those people has to account for 2,000 other people. The more data they have, the more accurate their surveilance becomes, the more daunting of a task that is. I mean really, monitoring breath rate and heart rate for 2,000 people? Trying to figure out what folks had for lunch and dinner and what hobbies they have and who talks to who for 2,000 people, by yourself? No. They're going to check if you have bodies in your crawlspace or bombs in your garage, they're going to find out that you don't, and they are going to move on and leave you unmonitored.

Take comfort in the fact that you are not that important. The government really does not care what you do in your spare time, and it simply does not have the manpower to keep track if they did.

First, that's a gigantic error rate. Second, that's a gigantic error rate using twenty devices sitting around a single bed.

I am not overly concerned.

Oh shit. You mean if I have 20 wireless devices in my room, someone might be able to tell whether I'm breathing? I WANNA BREATHE IN PRIVATE GODDAMMIT!!!

Good luck for them if they're trying to track me through my dlink, damn thing goes down more often than a person of loose morals at a place of ill repute. They'll probably think I'm some sort of über hacker capable of dropping out of their network at will.

From what I read that would require me to own multiple routers all transmitting independently, ideally located so that one might be able to do a triangle-search of WiFi strength?
Be afraid, people. Be very afraid.

That's nothing compared to determining what you're printing from the sound the printer makes. Which actually works pretty well provided you're not surveying an illegal photocopy shop just above a disco.

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This is about the best way to summarize this 'article'. Did the contributor write this while wearing his tinfoil hat or something?

20 expensive devices in a small controlled room vs 1 cheap device in most homes that have walls, AC/Heater systems, pets and other factors that can really screw up this type of surveillance.

If the government really wants to watch me masturbate I'll set up a webcam for them

yes this sort of technology wont be used to track 99.99% oh people.. frankly almost no one is that interesting or big enough threat for them to warrent the expense. but once you look into how it is possible to track someone its seriously scary stuff.

Yeah.. you could do this before, it's called echo-location. And not Sonar, actual eco-location. We've made practices in the lab to measure relative positions of items in adjacent room. But yeah this is pretty cool.

I'm going to make a tinfoil hat company: No longer will you peskily have to fold tin to make a hat! Now you can buy one. Anyone wanna buy some stock?

A lot of people have 20 WiFi devices right around their bed, do they?

Which is why I sleep inside a Faraday cage.

the network was able to estimate his breathing rate to within 0.4 breaths per second.

How often do people breathe? That seems like a pretty big inaccuracy.
This seems like something that could be done much more easily already, but why not, could evolve into something great? It's nothing to worry about though, the government is already watching us.

So thats why my wifi been breaking up - i must stop breathing!

On topic: 99.9% of wifi equiipment out there isnt equpped with tools that could measure this at any sensitivity, so yeah, i dont see that coming.

Combine these powers with the internet being able to 'hear' when you're watching porn sexually explicit internet content and we're all DOOMED! They'll be able to accurately tell your blood flow when you're fapping

too bad we cant just have the good news of saving heart failer patients...

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