Method to Detect Suspicious In-Baggage Object Using Commodity WiFi

An illustration of the system developed to use WiFi signal to detect objects of different materials.

Invention Summary:

To help keep consumers safe, airports and many facilities deploy different kinds of screening equipment to scan baggage and other items. Traditional in-baggage suspicious object detection involves either manual examination (e.g., setting up checkpoint at every entrance) or dedicated equipment (e.g., surveillance camera, X-ray machine, ultra-wide-band scanner) and incurs high cost and deployment overhead, making them hard to scale.

Rutgers researchers have developed a low-cost system that utilizes off-the-shelf Wi-Fi devices to detect suspicious and dangerous objects. It uses wireless interference created by objects within the baggage to estimate the inner nature (i.e., material) and outline properties (i.e., dimension/shape) of the hidden objects. The system enables metal imaging or liquid detection by the reflected Wi-Fi signal translating into a facilitate risk level assessment to determine if an item is safe or dangerous. This system  can  achieve  over  95%  and 90%  accuracy  for  identifying the  suspicious  object  and determining its material type respectively.


  • Uses WiFi to detect suspicious objects without physically opening baggage.
  • Low implementation cost and easy deployment.
  • Easily scalable to from large to small applications.
  • Screens guns, ammunition, suspicious fluids

Market Applications:

This technology can be used for security screening purposes at:

  • Schools
  • Airports and point of entries such as ports, border controls
  • Theme parks and Stadiums
  • Metro & train stations

Intellectual Property & Development Status: 

US patent issued: 16/835,911. Available for licensing and/or search collaboration. Please contact


Patent Information: