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Scientists Invent Camera That Can See Through Almost Anything

22.11.2021 02:00 PM
Scientists Invent Camera That Can See Through Almost Anything
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Scientists Invent Camera That Can See Through Almost Anything
Scientists have developed a powerful 3D camera capable of penetrating and seeing almost anything, including corners, fog, and even human flesh.

The device, made by researchers from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, uses a technology called "holographic structure wavelength".

It works by scattering the light indirectly on the hidden objects, which propagates back and is transmitted back to the camera, where artificial intelligence is used to reconstruct the original object.

The team says the camera is a decade away from being commercially available, but when the technology arrives it could be used in cars, surveillance cameras and even as a medical scanner.

One example could be replacing the use of an endoscope in colonoscopy, and instead collecting light waves to see the folds within the intestine.

This is a relatively new area of research, known as non-line-of-sight (NLoS) imaging, and this technology can quickly capture full-field images of large areas. And it does so with sub-millimeter accuracy, a level of precision an AI-powered camera can use to see through the skin, seeing even the smallest capillaries working.

As the light is scattered over the hidden objects and scattered back to the camera, the algorithm reconstructs the scattered light signal.

Due to its high accuracy, this method also has the ability to photograph fast-moving objects, such as a beating heart or cars speeding around a street corner.

While this method has obvious potential for medical imaging, there are a wide range of applications.

This includes setting up navigation systems for early warning of vehicles and industrial inspection in tightly confined spaces.

However, researchers believe the potential applications are endless.

"Our technology will usher in a new wave of imaging capabilities," said Florian Willemitzer, the study's first author.

Current sensor models use visible or infrared light, but the principle is universal and can be extended to other wavelengths.

The goal of the project was to intercept the scattered light in order to reconstruct the information contained in the light.

New technology overcomes problems and can shoot around corners and through other forms of media - such as leather and metal - with higher resolution.

Because light only travels on straight paths, there must be an opaque barrier, such as a wall, a bush or a car, for the new device to see around corners.

The light from the sensor bounces off the barrier and then hits the object in the corner. The light then bounces back to the diaphragm and eventually back to the sensor unit detector.

It should be noted that this is currently a prototype and takes up to ten years of being a commercial product, due in part to the time it would take to obtain medical approval.
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