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XR-RF imaging enabled by software-defined metasurfaces and machine learning: foundational vision, technologies and challenges

Liaskos Christos, Tsioliaridou Ageliki, Georgopoulos Konstantinos, Morianos Ioannis, Ioannidis Sotirios, Salem Iosif, Manessis Dionysios, Schmid Stefan, Tyrovolas Dimitrios, Tegos Sotiris A., Mekikis Prodromos-Vasileios, Diamantoulakis Panagiotis, Pitilakis Alexandros, Kantartzis, Nikolaos V, Karagiannidis, George K, Tasolamprou Anna, Tsilipakos Odysseas, Kafesaki Maria, Akyildiz, Ian Fuat, Pitsillides, Andreas, Pateraki Maria, Vakalellis Michael, Spais Ilias

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Year 2022
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
Bibliographic Citation C. Liaskos, A. Tsioliaridou, K. Georgopoulos, I. Morianos, S. Ioannidis, I. Salem, D. Manessis, S. Schmid, D. Tyrovolas, S. A. Tegos, P. -V. Mekikis, P. D. Diamantoulakis, A. Pitilakis, N. V. Kantartzis, G. K. Karagiannidis, A. C. Tasolamprou, O. Tsilipakos, M. Kafesaki, I. F. Akyildiz, A. Pitsillides, M. Pateraki, M. Vakalellis and I. Spais, "XR-RF imaging enabled by software-defined metasurfaces and machine learning: foundational vision, technologies and challenges," IEEE Access, vol. 10, pp. 119841-11986
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In this work, we present a new approach to Extended Reality (XR), denoted as iCOPYWAVES, which seeks to offer naturally low-latency operation and cost effectiveness, overcoming the critical scalability issues faced by existing solutions. Specifically, iCOPYWAVES is enabled by emerging PWEs, a recently proposed technology in wireless communications. Empowered by intelligent metasurfaces, PWEs transform the wave propagation phenomenon into a software-defined process. To this end, we leverage PWEs to: i) create, and then ii) selectively copy the scattered RF wavefront of an object from one location in space to another, where a machine learning module, accelerated by FPGAs, translates it to visual input for an XR headset using PWE-driven, RF imaging principles (XR-RF). This makes an XR system whose operation is bounded in the physical-layer and, hence, has the prospects for minimal end-to-end latency. For the case of large distances, RF-to-fiber/fiber-to-RF is employed to provide intermediate connectivity. The paper provides a tutorial on the iCOPYWAVES system architecture and workflow. Finally, a proof-of-concept implementation via simulations is provided, demonstrating the reconstruction of challenging objects in iCOPYWAVES-produced computer graphics.

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