Peeping toms, perverts, and wannabe superheroes rejoice! Researchers at the University of Texas – Dallas have designed an imager chip that could turn mobile phones into devices that can see through walls, wood, plastics, paper and other objects.

The research team made use of a band on the electromagnetic spectrum (think AM/FM, microwave, infrared and not AC/DC, Metallica, or Kiss), which was previously inaccessible for most consumer devices – the terahertz. According to one of the team members, ”The terahertz range is full of unlimited potential that could benefit us all.”

Due to privacy concerns, Dr. O and his team are focused on uses in the distance range of less than four inches. But, that doesn’t leave enough room for ‘full extension’!

Consumer applications of such technology could range from finding studs in walls to authentication of important documents. Businesses could use it to detect counterfeit money. Manufacturing companies could apply it to process control. There are also more communication channels available in terahertz than the range currently used for wireless communication, so information could be more rapidly shared at this frequency.

Terahertz can also be used for imaging to detect cancer tumors, diagnosing disease through breath analysis, and monitoring air toxicity.

One of the professors went on to say, “There are all kinds of things you could be able to do that we just haven’t yet thought about.” Like determining what kind of panties a waitress is wearing?

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