This sensor will let you ‘see’ through walls like Superman
Vayyar Imaging, a 3D-imaging sensor company based in Israel has developed a new 3D-imaging sensor for Android smartphones that allows your device to peer right through walls revealing everything from structural foundations to pipes, to wiring, and even unwanted pests hiding between rooms.
Called the Walabot DIY, all you need to do is just download the Walabot DIY app from the Google Play Store, connect the accessory to your smartphone’s USB port, and hold it against a wall. Since, it is a consumer-friendly product; it doesn’t require any training to use.
The sensor can also magnetically attach to the back of your smartphone, which allows you to use the two devices single-handedly, leaving your other hand free to operate the app. This gives you a more visual representation of what’s discovered, its placement, what it’s made from, and its distance. Walabot DIY says it can see up to four inches deep into walls made of drywall or even cement.
“Walabot instantly turns a smartphone into a powerful 3D-imaging system at your fingertips,” company officials said.
“Our advanced technology lets people see all kinds of things hidden in the world around them, adding yet another dimension to the way people use smart devices today,” they said.
While the Walabot DIY is more expensive than Walabot Maker version, it could prove the usefulness of Vayyar’s 3D imaging technology. It also gives makers and inventors around the world the opportunity to develop content that takes advantage of the 3D imaging sensor technology. One can not only make use of the existing apps, but can also create their own apps.
“Walabot’s technology is simple and intuitive, so people with any level of experience can use it to enjoy and better the world around them,” the company said.
“Walabot makes highly sophisticated imaging technology approachable, affordable and usable for everyone,” said Raviv Melamed, CEO and co-founder of Vayyar Imaging, a 3D-imaging sensor company based in Israel.
The Walabot DIY uses sophisticated algorithms to detect the radio emissions and reflections of different objects. It studies the data to figure out in real-time what kind of object is hiding behind a typical wall. You can use it to see through tables as well, but not metal objects and other types of barricades.
“It can help the blind avoid obstacles, sense — and alert you — if your mother or father has fallen in the shower, help your robot become autonomous, and much more,” Melamed said.
“The idea is to take the guesswork out of remodeling,” said Melamed, in an interview with VentureBeat. “You don’t want someone punching a hole in your sewer pipes by accident. It’s like real Superman vision.”
According to Melamed, Vayyar’s devices can tell you a lot more about what’s behind a wall. In a demonstration shown to VentureBeat, one can see what’s behind the wall on the screen of the smartphone by just pairing it with the Android smartphone and activating the app. The data is presented in a raw form or an analysis of that data as calculated by Vayyar.
As there are some interruptions in displaying what is behind a piece of a wall, you have to move it over the wall slowly. However, you can get a 3D image of an entire room’s walls in just few minutes. Melamed said it will make it a lot simpler to locate a leak in a pipe, or just drill into a wall without the fear of hitting a pipe or electrical wire, hang pictures in a gallery, or mount shelves.
“We can get it to 5 millimeters accuracy,” Melamed said. “You’ll know what’s inside a wall in a few minutes.”
Besides the above, Walabot DIY is also considered ideal for the construction worker, home renovator, and DIY enthusiast. Walabot DIY is compatible with all Android smartphones 5.0 and higher and comes with USB OTG. After the Walabot DIY app is downloaded via Google Play and completes a short standardization process, it can be used to scan the wall. Images of the wall are then placed on the screen of the smartphone.
Walabot DIY also features a flexible sensitivity setting for optimal standardizations on particular renovation and construction projects. This offers two sensing modes and can effortlessly snap photo screenshots for use in offline analysis.
Melamed also demonstrated how Walabot DIY can identify the pattern of your breathing. In other words, it has applications for examining your sleep patterns and other uses in health, safety, and quality of life. While the technology is still in its initial stages, it could shoot more demand for augmented reality applications, he said.
The Walabot DIY is now on sale in the U.S. for a limited special price of $200 (which is later expected to rise to $300).