Systems and Methods for Identifying Electronic Devices


A low-cost, portable system for detecting hidden electronic device threats (e.g. spy camera, bugs, weapons) utilizing nonlinear response effects from radio frequency signals.



Modern electronic devices (e-devices), such as spy cameras, bugs or weapons, can be sealed in parcels and boxes, hidden under clothing, or disguised with cardboard to conceal their identities.  This presents significant challenges for security screening. Inspection equipment (e.g., X-ray machines) is bulky and expensive. Moreover, screening reliability still rests on human performance, and the throughput in security screening of passengers and luggage is very limited.


Technology Overview:

University at Buffalo researchers have developed E-Eye, a low-cost, portable, hidden electronics recognition system. The circuit inside an e-device acts as a passive signal modulator which reflects back radio frequency (RF) signals with intrinsic identity information. This process is very analogous to RFID systems. E-Eye utilizes the nonlinear response effect of millimeter waves (mmWaves) and a proprietary algorithm to detect hidden e-device threats.


To validate E-Eye performance, 46 commodity electronic devices were concealed in either a standard USPS or Amazon package. Results show that E-Eye can recognize hidden e-devices in packages with an accuracy of more than 99% and an equal error rate approaching 0.44% under a controlled lab setup. In an evaluation of E-Eye in various real-world circumstances, E-Eye still achieved accuracy over 97%.




Figure: When the e-device enters the RF beam field, chips, connectors and metal traces of the printed circuit board are viewed as an array of antennas in the resolution of mmWave, which conducts and transforms the mmWave signal to a high-frequency current running within the e-device. The resulting nonlinear response radiating from the e-device is captured by the E-Eye receiver (Rx) antennae.



  • High detection accuracy.
  • Low-cost and portable.
  • No bulky or potentially harmful x-ray.
  • Non-invasive: Avoids the obtrusive opening of containers.



  • Threat detection at airports, events, etc.
  • Personal security in hotels, BNBs, homes, etc.

Intellectual Property Summary:

PCT application PCT/US2019/59735 filed 11/2/2019. WO2020/093068


Stage of Development:

•       Prototype built and tested.


Licensing Status:

Available for license.


Video Link: Click Here


Publication:Click Here



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Jeffrey Dunbar
University at Buffalo
716 645-8134
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