May 27, 2024

According to a recent report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, researchers at the institute have created a new kind of augmented reality headset that can give you X-ray vision. However, the headset raises major privacy concerns, as it could allow you to see through walls, allowing you to snoop into other people’s private spaces.

What exactly can this headset do?

MIT researchers have built a headset with a system that combines computer vision and wireless sensing to locate hidden objects. It does this by using radio frequency signals, which can pass through objects to find hidden items marked with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that reflect the signal sent by the antenna.

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The earphones can tell you where to find items, and you can use an app paired with the earphones, which will reveal hidden objects as transparent spheres. Once you’ve located and picked up the object, the headset will verify that you’ve picked up the correct object.

MIT headset as part of a system that combines computer vision and wireless perception to locate hidden objects. (MIT)

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In an MIT press release, Associate Professor Fadel Adib said, “The overall goal of our project is to build an augmented reality system that lets you see things you can’t see — things in boxes or in corners — and In doing so, it can guide you towards them and really allow you to see the physical world in ways you never had before.”

While it’s a fascinating invention that could help people, especially when they’re having trouble finding what they need, it also comes with some major privacy risks.

MIT defends this development "Augmented reality system."

MIT has defended the development of such an “augmented reality system.” (MIT)

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What are the dangers of augmented reality?

The biggest danger of augmented reality is how easily it can invade people’s personal space. Who’s to say criminals can’t get their hands on one of these headphones and use it to spy on people’s homes? AR apps have additional capabilities that allow them to collect sensitive information such as an individual’s location, usage information, facial recognition data, voice recordings, and more.

As unique as the concept is, I hope the researchers and companies that create these devices also provide the necessary features to protect user data.

here's what to know "Augmented Reality" and its tools.

Here’s what to know about “augmented reality” and its tools. (Kurt Knudsen)

What do you think of augmented reality devices? We want to know your thoughts.

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