Scientists have found a way to fit x-ray technology in your mobile device. Kenneth O, Ph.D., is the professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas in Dallas, and his team has been recently working on some material that may allow cell phone camera’s to see through objects.
A new chip put forward by the team of scientists is what they say will enable regular mobile camera’s to become X-ray viewing devices. With this very chip the camera will be able to see through materials like wood, paper, plastic and even the human body. This is now possible due to two main factors; one is the ability to now make use of the previously unused electromagnetic spectrum. The other is greater advances in microchip technology which can now accommodate the terahertz band of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Though this does not mark the first time we have been shown technology that can enable us to see through objects. Last year it was at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory where researchers had devised a microwave based x-ray vision device.
Now such technology that can allow mortals to gain super human strength is gaining attention from a variety of places including the military. Of course all those interested in this technology have their own reason to be. For the military this is part of weapons technology as it allows them to see through steal shields and can be used for their own benefit, where as academically this is much more subtle technology.
Other than its use in security or weaponry and academically this is can be a huge leap forward in the medical arena. CMOS (Complimentary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) is the basis for the majority of the electrical devices we see today. When this is put together with the terahertz technology now available, this could result in new devices such as an x-ray machine the size of a mobile. The team at the University of Texas sees this to be a potentially good area to develop in to. However there are limitations to this in terms of privacy concerns. Therefore O and his team, together with other researchers working on the same front have had to limit the depth to which this technology can penetrate.
This means that when using the device the depth or range of the x-ray field would be limited; to be exact it would be limited to 4 inches or 10 centimeters. This could pose some limitations in terms of medical use but it wouldn’t wipe out the possibility of the technologies use in the field completely. Even being able to see 4 inches into a wound or area of the body could be dramatic. Also if we keep in mind Moore’s law this figure could easily reach 10 or 20 inches within the next four years. That would be of substantial use. Though even with the current figure of 4 inches, we can still for example explore parts of the brain which have not yet been looked into.
However privacy concerns still remain at large. As the developers have looked to put a limit on this technology it is not necessary that others will as well. As is the case with most technology, after its release for its initial use, it is hacked and manipulated. Spying on people through solid walls is not far out of reach with this technology.