What to Know
- WiFi signals could be used to detect security threats at venues like stadiums and schools, a new study found
- A Rutgers University-New Brunswick-led team found the signals can detect dangerous objects
- Using WiFi for security purposes would be cheaper than security screening, less invasive and easier to implement, the study said
The WiFi signals you connect to on a day-to-day basis could be used to detect security threats at stadiums, schools, amusement parks and other venues, a team of researchers says.
A Rutgers University-New Brunswick-led study found that wireless signals “can penetrate bags to get the dimensions of dangerous metal objects and identify them, including weapons, aluminum cans, laptops and batteries for bombs,” the school said in a release.
WiFi signals can also be used to determine the approximate volume of liquids and chemicals used in explosives, the study found.
Using WiFi for security purposes would be cheaper than security screening, less invasive and easier to implement, according to the study.
“This could have a great impact in protecting the public from dangerous objects,” the study’s co-author Yingying (Jennifer) Chen, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Rutgers-New Brunswick’s School of Engineering, said. “There’s a growing need for that now.”
Researchers tested several different types of security threats using their WiFi system, including metals and liquids, and got accuracy rates ranging from around 90 percent for wrapped objects in bags to 99 percent for “dangerous objects.”