This Futuristic Camera Can See Around Corners Using Lasers

Illustration for article titled This Futuristic Camera Can See Around Corners Using Lasers

A group of scientists have developed a camera that can take pictures of things that are hidden by walls. Not through X-Ray vision but with the ability to see around corners. That is, if an image is blocked by a wall, the camera will use lasers to peek around the corner.

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How does it work? Surprisingly, there's no new physics at play or black magic at work here. It's just technology being technology. Andres Velten, the study lead author on this project, says, "There is no new physics here - improvements are just a matter of laser, camera and computer technologies that are constantly improving."

The camera is equipped with lasers that shoot onto a wall and bounce in every direction searching for something to hit. The hidden model is able to be replicated in the camera because the lasers bouncing off the wall hit the hidden object which then reflects back at the same wall and becomes processed by the camera. The camera gathers these reflections, feeds them into a computer which pieces them all together. The 3D model is created near instantaneously (within 15 millionths of a second).

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According to USA Today, the 3D model of the hidden object is about one tenth of an inch off from the hidden object's real measurements. The picture does look a bit like a blob, but the shape is accurate and the effect is totally impressive. Watch the video to see it in action. [USA Today]

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DISCUSSION

Does it work in the current light level or do the lights have to be out? This video looks lit for ... well ... a video, not the apparatus being described.

In time it surely will become more powerful and accurate. Some day this would make for a super handy tool for SWAT teams, marines, etc when clearing buildings of unfriendlies.