Capturing the Human Figure Through a Wall

Fadel Adib, Chen-Yu Hsu, Hongzi Mao, Dina Katabi, Fredo Durand. ACM SIGGRAPH Asia’15, Kobe, Japan, November 2015


We present RF-Capture, a system that captures the human figure—i.e., a coarse skeleton—through a wall. RF-Capture tracks the 3D positions of a person’s limbs and body parts even when the person is fully occluded from its sensor, and does so without placing any markers on the subject’s body. In designing RF-Capture, we built on recent advances in wireless research, which have shown that certain radio frequency (RF) signals can traverse walls and reflect off the human body, allowing for the detection of human motion through walls. In contrast to these past systems which abstract the entire human body as a single point and find the overall location of that point through walls, we show how we can reconstruct various human body parts and stitch them together to capture the human figure. We built a prototype of RF-Capture and tested it on 15 subjects. Our results show that the system can capture a representative human figure through walls and use it to distinguish between various users.