Smartphone may offer 'X-Ray Spex' capability. See through walls, clothes and more
University of Texas at Dallas researchers looking into affordable version of gag store favorite
Imagine a device that will allow you to look through walls, barriers - and people's clothes. Previously, this was the domain of the gag store item "X-Ray Spex," ordered in the back of cheap comic books. Believe it or not, such a device is quickly becoming reality . and it could soon become a hot Smartphone application.
Imagine a device that will allow you to look through walls, barriers - and people's clothes. Previously, this was the domain of the gag store item 'X-Ray Spex,' ordered in the back of cheap comic books. Believe it or not, such a device is quickly becoming reality . and it could soon become a hot Smartphone application.
A team at University of Texas at Dallas has tuned a small, inexpensive microchip to discern a "terahertz" band of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The gimmick works with chips made using Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor technology behind processors commonly found in personal computers, Smartphones, televisions and videogame consoles.
"CMOS is affordable and can be used to make lots of chips," an electrical engineering professor said in a statement last week.
"The combination of CMOS and terahertz means you could put this chip and a transmitter on the back of a cell phone, turning it into a device carried in your pocket that can see through objects."
Straightaway, there are concerns about this device becoming commonly available. To reassure others, the professor and his team at the Texas Analogue Center of Excellence are limiting their study to what the chips can make visible at distances of four inches or less, according to the university.
The terahertz band has wavelengths that fall between microwaves used for mobile phone signals, and infrared that is employed for night vision goggles.
The chip designed by the team detects terahertz waves and shows the resulting imagery, in all likelihood on a Smartphone screen.
The research team highlighted potential medical uses such as enabling doctors to peer easily into patients' bodies and practical applications along the lines of finding studs in walls.
"We've created approaches that open a previously untapped portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for consumer use," the professor said.
"There are all kinds of things you could be able to do that we just haven't yet thought about."
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: X-Ray vision, tecnology, Smartphones, CMOS, terahertz
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