What does finding pipes hidden in the walls of your home have to do with Health Tech? As we learned at CES 2016, the two are closely related. A company named Vayyar has created a 3D scanning system that relies on radio frequency (RF) emissions to see through walls and detect objects.
The company makes the Walabot, a device that incorporates their sensor chip in a handheld unit that then can send data to an app running on a smartphone. Designed for developers and DIY experimenters, it is intended to help people explore the capabilities of the technology. One use is to help home owners and contractors locate pipes and wires and other features hidden within the walls of a home. But since the technology can create 3D imagery through solid objects, it can do much more. For example, it can identify the location of individuals inside — or nearby outside — the home. This data could be used to generate activity data for each person. For seniors living independently, this technology could automatically detect if a person suffers a fall, or suddenly stops moving. According to the company, the sensors are accurate enough that they can detect the heart beats and breathing rate of a person in the home. This could eliminate the need for wearable devices to track a variety of health and biometric information.
Vayyar is working with partner companies to incorporate the sensor technology in smart home products for consumers. We can expect to see the first of these products come to market before the end of 2017.