X-ray smartphones are being researched at the University of Texas

Have you ever dreamt of having x-ray vision? If so, new research from the University of Texas that could lead to x-ray cameras built into smartphones should be right up your street. The range of vision would be restricted to 4 inches for privacy reasons, and such cameras are years away from commercial availability, but these developments are exciting nevertheless.


While the smartphone of today has become a pretty amazing sensor for discovering the real world, the smartphone of tomorrow may just give you the ability to have X-ray vision. That’s the potential implication of a breakthrough at the University of Texas, Dallas, where researchers say they have taken a big step closer to enabling a phone to see a short distance through wood, walls, plastics and other objects.

It comes down to the ability to bridge what’s called the terahertz gap in the infrared band. The terahertz band is largely unused because the band is too high for electronics and too low for light-based systems. But an engineering team at the University of Texas at Dallas has found a way to create images with signals in the terahertz band without having to use multiple lenses inside a device. Basically, they’re able to focus light without using a lot of big lenses and…

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