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Another reason why your smartphone may be cooler than your camera: Technology breakthrough may let phones see through walls


11:50 am
April 23, 2012



posts 956

New Research Could Mean Cellphones That Can See Through Walls

Dr. Kenneth O, professor of electrical engineering and director of the Texas Analog Center of Excellence (TxACE) along with others at UT Dallas have found that a way to enable future consumer devices to image using the tetrahertz portion of the spectrum. The terahertz band of the electromagnetic spectrum falls between microwave and infrared has not been accessible for most consumer devices. The researchers have developed a design for a CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) chip which today forms the basis of many consumer electronic devices used in daily life such as personal computers, smart phones, high definition TV and game consoles.

"'CMOS is affordable and can be used to make lots of chips,' Dr. O said. 'The combination of CMOS and terahertz means you could put this chip and a transmitter on the back of a cellphone, turning it into a device carried in your pocket that can see through objects.'  Due to privacy concerns, Dr. O and his team are focused on uses in the distance range of less than four inches." (link)

Infrared is spectrum that is already used in photography. This additional spectrum can allow new types of are to be conceived and maybe executed by seeing what is being a facade. Also this presents another example of the evolution in imaging technology as this would not require lenses (not sure of image quality). In any case, it is amazing that a consumer phone could be a target for this type of imaging. Is the camera getting the short end of the stick in R&D?

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