MIT’s New Camera Can See around Corners

MIT has always been the cradle of future tech wizards, and this time it’s not any different. This
new technology allows a camera to see around corners, well sort of. It can’t do it using a amera alone, but it can do it using a camera and a laser emitter. Then from there it uses similar properties of sonar to register a crude image. The only downside to the technology at this moment is that the object has to bounce off a wall that’s perpendicular to the laser. The reason for this is because the laser’s beam that it shoots out has to hit the wall directly to get an even dispersal of photons to bounce off the surface. It’s these photons that later help create the rough image of the object for the camera. The camera films the whole event and using an algorithm calculates the time it takes for the photons to reach the camera, based off of those calculations it can produce a rough image. This new technology is called “Femto-Photography” since it uses a femto-laser which is a laser that shoots a beam out every quadrillionth of a second.
 

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/video/index.htm?bctid=1519108868001

Technology like this always looks rather rough in the beginning, but if they keep developing
it, I feel it can become rather helpful for our military sector. Sure they’ve got guns that snap around corners and at the same time gives away your position, and they’ve got snakes with cameras attached to them for more discrete purposes. This eliminates all of that and if it can be manufactured into something small like a sight then this could be rather useful. Think about entering a building crawling with insurgents and other hostiles, but not knowing where they are. Sure we have thermal imaging tech that’s rather good, but there’s that delay in feed and other limitations that come with the technology itself, and by the time our men enter the facility those men could have moved and are usually moving. Enter this device, once consolidated in a nice small frame and able to display images in real time it could give our troops the upper hand without risking our guys being caught by a (admittedly cool) gun that bends around the corner or having to bring extra equipment and men in with a camera snake or other toys that are rather cumbersome and time consuming. This same technology would be great at home where we can’t use such extreme measures as we can on a battlefield. It would be great for drug busts
and raiding hide-outs, especially since police aren’t allowed to the insane amount of tech our troops use overseas.

The Problems

So far the team has been experiencing issues with the tech, the first being the algorithm used to turn reflected photons into a usable image. At this stage the images are blurry, but easily recognizable. The solution is simple in nature, but complex in execution; it would require tweaking and adjusting the algorithm until they can find a good balance. Then that leads to another problem, the more complex the algorithm gets the more strain it will put on the CPU that has to do the calculations. If the algorithm takes up too much resources then a new custom made CPU has to be made to run and decipher the math and that could make it less practical in the end. Custom CPUs tend to run hot, are rather expensive and requires a custom motherboard. Though as a proof of concept, it’s very promising and looks to be rather interesting as long as they keep up the research on this technology and it doesn’t become like
graphene, you know the magical carbon molecule that has 1,000,001 uses and counting, yet none of them are near ready for mass consumption, yet they’ve been raving about it for over a decade now. Personal qualms aside in regards to graphene, take a look at the source link to get all the information you could want and watch the video I’ve included to see this thing in action.

About the author:
Amanda Tradwick is a grant researcher and writer for CollegeGrants.org. She has a Bachelor's degrees from the University of Delaware, and has recently finished researching minority student grants along with various criminal justice student grants.

4 comments:

Seems impressive. And needles to say that MIT is the most advanced technological institute around the world.

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