Thursday, July 12, 2007

Who will be (is) looking at your body?

IEEE Online Spectrum:

If you’re of a certain age, you may remember those ­miraculous-sounding “X-ray specs” advertised in comic books. They’d let you see through walls, boxes, and—best of all, for a teenager, anyway—clothing. They were bogus, of course. But technology is finally on the verge of giving us all those capabilities, and more, albeit in a package too big to perch on the bridge of your nose.
Terahertz radiation (“T-rays”) scanners capture images thru clothes and they are coming to an airport and perhaps shopping center near you.

ThruVision, a leader in terahertz imaging, proclaims and assures " With passive terahertz imaging, objects are imaged in a safe radiation-free manner, without displaying any anatomical detail. Such benefits avoid many regulatory barriers associated with public use."

As for imagers that can see a suspicious object in your shopping bag from 50 meters, those are more like five years away at our current rate of progress. Adding the ability to tell whether that object is a taco or some TNT is an additional five years away, at least. And getting them small enough to wear like spectacles? We won’t even hazard a guess. So if you see them advertised in a comic book, trust us: they’re fake.

Stay tuned . . .

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