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weizXR t1_iv8ftd9 wrote

It triangulates Wi-Fi signals, that's all. It does not detect anything visual or even physical, just where sources of Wi-Fi signals are. It does this by seeing the difference in amplitude/strength of the signal depending on where it moves.

It's cool that they bought a drone with Wi-Fi for $20 and the fact they're so cheap now, but beyond that... nothing here is new or even clever.


no-name-here t1_iv92hhq wrote

Thank you for clarifying - the headline implies something incredibly different.

Regarding the price, another commenter said the drone and parts shown add over $500:


weizXR t1_iv9p56o wrote

Damn, so not only the title, but the first few paragraphs is misleading af. That's like saying 'I used a $20 device to do X'... after attaching it to my $500 Y.

Garbage article.


GlockAF t1_ivbevdv wrote

Bog-standard Alarmist “journalism”.

Fear and sex make clicks, clicks make money


receivebrokenfarmers t1_ivbm1b6 wrote

Looking at the components they added to the drone they would be about $20 shipped off Amazon resellers and about $10 or less shipped from AliExpress. Probably what was said before journalistic purple monkey dishwasher happened.


D-Rich-88 t1_ivb3nhn wrote

Yeah I was picturing seeing through walls like the movie Eraser


phant-m t1_ivendgr wrote

Gizmodo is mostly click bait these days


CompassionateCedar t1_iv9ls4d wrote

Actually you can use wifi signals to get a rough layout of a room. Not with this kind of setup, you would need a directional antenna.

It’s been demonstrated by a bunch of nerds messing around with a home made radio telescope years ago.

Wifi uses the electromagnetic spectrum. Just like light does. Except it can pass trough walls. So you can use it to “see” into a room but because of the wavelength is so large and it will pass trough a lot of stuff you will mostly see things that are highly reflective to wifi and other sources of electromagnetic radiation with the same wavelength.


somerandomii t1_ivaa306 wrote

Well water reacts particularly well, and we’re mostly water. So it can be used to track people inside a building fairly well. And because wifi is providing the “active” part of this active scanner, it can be done very covertly. It would be hard to detect that someone is monitoring your building.

But that isn’t what this article is about.


MrHaVoC805 t1_ivbnzw9 wrote

It's actually pretty easy to see if someone is using WiFi to monitor a building. The hard part is nailing down exactly where they are if it's not inside your building.


somerandomii t1_ivcd219 wrote

It’s pretty hard if they’re only listening to your wifi strength and not emitting themself.


MrHaVoC805 t1_ivgl575 wrote

Except for the whole drones being controlled by what's basically WiFi, they use 2.4 and 5ghz frequencies for that and it will be actively transmitting.


somerandomii t1_ivh45oh wrote

As I said, I’m not talking about the technology in the article. That’s an entirely different use case.

Also autonomous drones don’t need to emit wifi. But you wouldn’t fly a drone around a building to covertly monitor personnel. Drones aren’t very subtle.


flynnwebdev t1_iv9rrx4 wrote

So the headline is clickbait. Welp, color me surprised! /s


myalt08831 t1_ivarbmb wrote

It's not the amplitude of signal strength. Time of flight uses a precise timestamp in the data packet from the exact moment when the packet is emitted, and you use the time elapsed between the initial timestamp and when you got the message, divided by the expected physical speed of propagating the signal through space, to estimate distance from the transmitter to the receiver.


lag0matic t1_ivc9qfc wrote

If the drone in the photos is the one they used, I want in on their sources. That’s a DJI mini, they’re a few hundred bucks lol