Published on Monday, 15 July 2013 00:00
X-ray vision will no longer be limited to just superheroes. In several years time, the average man will possess the ability to see through boxes, bags, walls and clothes through the discretion of their smartphones.
It is called the “X-ray vision” application. However, instead of the harmful, cell degenerative x-rays, Caltech researchers have developed a chip that beams waves in non-detrimental terahertz frequency, a little-used portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and far-infrared.
Terahertz generators once used to be bulky, cumbersome and expensive, but thanks to the Caltech researchers, they succeeded in creating terahertz-emitting silicon chips made of silicon that are far smaller than a penny. The chip is inexpensive and small enough to be comfortably fitted into our modern-day smartphone.
The researchers harnessed an array of tiny transistors operating in unison and designed the whole chip to act essentially as a terahertz antenna. “We took a holistic approach and combined generation and radiation in one place,” says Ali Hajimiri, co-developer of the chip and an electrical engineer at Caltech.
Terahertz waves can pass through fabrics, cardboard and skin but cannot penetrate harder, denser materials such as metal or bone. An app can be easily made to read which objects the waves passed through and which objects bounced them back, allowing concealed guns and knives to be easily detectable.
This technology can revolutionize the whole world. Apart from security screenings, the x-ray vision smartphone can be made to screen for cancer, used as a ultrafast data transmission and, for gaming; refined motion-sensing and gesture recognition.
“If you include this as yet another versatile sensor on your smartphone,” says Hajimiri, “you can develop a lot of different apps.”
As much as it can revolutionize the world for good, it can also revolutionize a pervert’s way of ogling women. Instead of perverts taking up-skirt photos or staring lewdly at a girl and imagining what she would look like without her clothes on, the pervert would have easier accessibility at seeing her stark naked through his smartphone without the girl even knowing. And with the near launch of Google glasses, the chip can be installed into the wearer’s glasses and everywhere he looks will seem like a nudist colony, all at the discretion of the viewer himself. Not cool man. Not cool at all.
We might have to wear chainmail undergarment in the future if we were to prevent everyone from checking out our goodies.
This prank will soon become a reality: