Radar tracking systems have been around for about 80 years now. Typically, when someone mentions radar it evokes images of giant antennas used to track clouds or planes miles and miles away. Close range radar that works through walls seems to be something exclusive to the realm of science fiction. Perhaps the most iconic example of this is the motion tracker from the 1986 movie Aliens. Its ominous pulsing and shrieking tracking tone made it a fantastic plot device for building tension in the movie.
What makes this piece of tech seem like science fiction is the fact that it could accurately track motion through walls. Now there are working prototypes that can do just that. Take for example WiTrack 3D motion tracking.
The accuracy in the demo is amazing considering it can be used to sense gestures as well as positions. This isn’t super surprising considering indoor walls typically are not very dense. In Aliens, the trackers work through what appears to be a large metal and concrete structure. Now researchers have developed a way to do that as well.
As with most technology in its infancy, these prototype motion trackers look far from being portable enough for your average person to carry. However, the fact that technology has progressed far enough to bring an iconic movie prop to life is really cool.