New research could see the development of cell phones that have the power to be able see through walls. Researchers at UT Dallas have created an imaging chip that might be able to turn cell phones into devices that can see through walls, paper, wood, plastics and other solid objects.
The research conducted by the team linked two scientific advances, one involving tapping into a previously unused range of the electromagnetic spectrum, the other a new form of microchip technology. The terahertz band, a wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum that falls between microwave and infrared, has previously been inaccessible for the great majority of consumer devices.
“We’ve created approaches that open a previously untapped portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for consumer use and life saving medical applications,” says Texas Analog Center of Excellence director and UT Dallas professor of electrical engineering Dr Kenneth O. “The terahertz range is full of unlimited potential that could benefit us all.” Using the new approach can result in the creation of images with signals, which operate in the terahertz range without needing to use several lenses inside of a device, something that could reduce both the cost and the overall size.
The second advance that makes the findings potentially applicable for consumer devices such as cell phones is the technology that has been used in the creation of the microchip. The technology could be used to monitor air toxicity, detect cancers or to detect counterfeit money, among many possible uses.