From ACM TechNews:
New Research Could Mean Cellphones That Can See Through Walls
UT Dallas News
(04/18/12) LaKisha Ladson
University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) researchers have developed an imager chip that enables mobile phones to see through walls, wood, plastics, paper, and other objects. One aspect of the technology involves tapping into an unused range in the electromagnetic spectrum, while the other aspect is a new microchip technology. "We’ve created approaches that open a previously untapped portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for consumer use and life-saving medical applications," says UTD professor Kenneth O. The technology enables images to be created with signals operating in the terahertz range without having to use several lenses inside a device. The new UTD microchip is based on complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology, which the researchers note is common in many electronic devices. "The combination of CMOS and terahertz means you could put this chip and receiver on the back of a cell phone, turning it into a device carried in your pocket that can see through objects," O says. He notes consumer applications for the technology could include finding studs in walls and authenticating documents. "There are all kinds of things you could be able to do that we just haven’t yet thought about," O says.