“New AR helmet sees through objects, say scientists”

This augmented reality  headset from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology gives users X-ray vision.


Researchers at MIT ( Massachusetts Institute of Technology ) have created an augmented reality headset  that provides the user with X-ray vision.

The headset combines computer vision and wireless perception to automatically locate a particular object hidden from view, for example inside a box or under a pile, and guide the user to retrieve it.

The system uses radio frequency (RF) signals , which can pass through common materials such as cardboard boxes, plastic containers, or wooden dividers, to find hidden objects tagged with RFID tags, which reflect signals sent by an RF antenna.

A different augmented reality headset

The device directs the user across a room to the location of the object, which appears as a transparent sphere in the augmented reality (AR) interface . Once the user has the item in hand, the helmet, called X-AR , verifies that they have picked up the correct item.

When the researchers tested X-AR in a warehouse-like environment, the devices located hidden objects with an average accuracy of 9.8 centimeters. And they verified that the users had picked up the correct object with an accuracy of 96%.

The potential to see through things

X-AR could help e-commerce warehouse workers quickly find items on cluttered shelves or buried in boxes, or identify the exact item for an order when there are many similar items in the same bin. It could also be used in a manufacturing plant to help technicians locate the correct parts to assemble a product.

“Our goal with this project was to build an augmented reality system that would allow you to see invisible things, things that are in boxes or in corners, and guide you to them and allow you to see the physical world in ways that weren’t possible before. “ , explains in a statement Fadel Adib , associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering , director of the Signal Kinetics group of the Media Laboratory and lead author of a paper on X-AR .

The research will be presented at the USENIX Symposium on Design and Implementation of Networked Systems