See throw things with your phone

4 years ago

The cameras that ship with todays smartphones are so good many of us use them instead of a standalone digital camera. But research being carried out at the University of Texas in Dallas may open up new features that take smartphones well beyond just point-and-shoot photography.

A team working out of the universitys electrical engineering department has developed a new imaging chip that utilizes the terahertz band of the electromagnetic spectrum. Just as importantly, the chip can be manufactured using widely available CMOS tech and doesnt require multiple lenses to function. It all adds up to a cheap camera module that has a very desirable new feature.

Using the terahertz band of the spectrum means that it should be possible to see through walls using the new camera. So you could hold up your smartphone carrying this camera to a surface and get a view of whats on the other side through your touchscreen display.

Anyone thinking such a camera will fulfill the promise of those X-ray specs we all wanted as kids will be disappointed. The team behind the tech is focusing on getting the camera working at very short distances only. So while looking through a wall is possible, that girl walking by is safe from your cameras enhanced gaze.

The uses for such a camera are widespread and range from helping find tumors to detecting counterfeit bank notes and highlighting faults on manufacturing lines. However, if someone like Apple gets their hands on a camera that can see through walls, consumers everywhere will be falling over themselves to buy whatever handset ships with it

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