by Rachel Ogbu
University researchers at a Texan university have created a chip that could enable smartphones to see through walls, clothes or other objects.
It’s the kind of ability only possessed by superheroes which we wished we had. According to the AFP, the chip designed by O’s team senses terahertz waves and shows the resulting imagery, perhaps on a smartphone screen. O’s 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. There are all kinds of things you could be able to do that we just haven’t yet thought about,” the team said.
The terahertz band has wavelengths that fall between microwaves used for mobile phone signals and infrared that is employed for night vision goggles.
Electrical engineering professor, Kenneth O told the newsagent that the CMOS is not expensive and can be used to make lots of chips. “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,” he said.
And because this type of invention can easily get out of hand, the professor and his team at the Texas Analogue Center of Excellence have decided to limit their study to what the chips can make visible at distances of four inches (10 centimeters) or less.