Northwestern University engineers have developed a powerful camera that can see through solid and opaque things such as fog, corners, and even human flesh and bone – a technology that looks straight out of a science fiction film.
A press release from Northwestern Engineering stated that the camera uses a light-capturing technology termed “synthetic wavelength holography.” It works by scattering laser light onto hidden objects and then bouncing it back to the camera, where an artificial intelligence reconstructs the signals to reveal the hidden object.
A Wide Range of Applications
The findings of the researchers have been published in Nature. The holography approach could be utilized in early-warning navigation systems for autos or non-invasive medical imaging. It enables scientists to observe fast-moving things, including cars driving around, turns, or even a heart beating through a person’s chest.
“Our technology will usher in a new wave of imaging capabilities,” said Florian Willomitzer, lead author of the study and assistant professor at the McCormick School of Engineering. “The camera method could be applied to radio waves for space exploration or underwater acoustic imaging,” he stated.
The technology is still in its early stages of development. On the other hand, early results are promising – and could help reduce car accidents in the future as self-driving vehicles become more common.
“It can be applied to many areas,” Willomitzer added, “and we have only scratched the surface.”
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