University of Texas researchers design chip allowing mobile devices to see through walls

By End the Lie

As unbelievable as it sounds, researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas have created an imager chip for mobile devices which would turn an ordinary cell phone into something which can see through walls, wood, plastics, paper, skin and other objects.

Using the terahertz (THz) band of the electromagnetic spectrum, the wavelengths of which fall between the microwave and infrared bands, the chip could signify a revolution in the surveillance capabilities of mobile phones along with new chips like Broadcom’s BCM4752 which is capable of providing ultra-precise location data.

Combine this with citizen spying applications and the techniques which gently push people to conduct surveillance without them knowing what they’re actually doing, patents from Google which would allow them to collect the data from such chips and the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) new data center and you have the penultimate surveillance state.

The research team connected two separate advances in science: the mostly untapped terahertz frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum and cutting edge microchip technology.

For those who are unfamiliar or need a refresher, the electromagnetic spectrum makes up all wavelengths of electromagnetic energy from visible light to radio waves to microwaves to infrared to ultraviolet and everything in between.

Most consumer devices have yet to leverage the terahertz band, which means that this could be truly revolutionary technology, although some like myself might think that this revolution is not necessarily all that wonderful.

“We’ve created approaches that open a previously untapped portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for consumer use and life-saving medical applications,” said Dr. Kenneth O, an electrical engineering professor at the University of Texas at Dallas as well as the director of the Texas Analog Center of Excellence.

“The terahertz range is full of unlimited potential that could benefit us all,” he added, although I’m not quite sure how allowing cell phones to see through walls and thus erase what tiny shred of privacy we have left would benefit us all.

This technology would likely not even be as expensive as one might expect. This is because the new approach would allow images to be created with THz-range signals without the need for several lenses or other expensive equipment within the device.

This would not only reduce cost, but also size, making the technology something which we could realistically see in mobile phones in the future.

The University of Texas at Dallas press release notes that the techniques involved in the manufacturing of the microchip involved would also allow it to be applied to consumer devices.

Chips utilizing the Complimentary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology, which forms the basis of a great deal of consumer electronics like personal computers, mobile devices, high definition televisions, game consoles, etc. would make this technology even more affordable.

“CMOS is affordable and can be used to make lots of chips,” Dr. O said. “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.”

Thankfully, Dr. O seems to be, at least to a certain extent, concerned with privacy. This is evidenced by his team focusing on uses in distances of four inches or less, although this does not mean, by any means, that this technology could not be used at a greater distance when it is undoubtedly used by the government and military.

Some of the more innocuous potential applications could range from turning an ordinary phone into a stud finder or document authentication platform or even a counterfeit currency detector.

Manufacturing companies could potentially use it in process control and with more communication channels available in the THz range compared to the range currently used for wireless communications, data could be more rapidly transferred than the currently utilized frequency ranges allow.

There are even potential applications in healthcare fields, according to researchers.

It is possible that this type of imaging technology could be used to detect cancerous tumors, breath analysis for disease diagnosis and even air toxicity monitoring applications.

“There are all kinds of things you could be able to do that we just haven’t yet thought about,” said Dr. O, who also currently holds the Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair.

The research team’s next move will be to create an entire functioning imaging system which is based on the THz frequency range leveraging CMOS chip technology.

This research is being supported by the Center for Circuit and Systems Solutions (C2S2 Center) and carried out at the Texas Analog Center of Excellence (TxACE).

TxACE is funded by the Semiconducter Research Corporation (SRC), Texas Instruments Inc., and the state of Texas through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, the University of Texas system and the University of Texas at Dallas.

This research was presented at the most recent meeting of the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), according to Homeland Security News Wire.

While there are indeed some very promising, positive applications for this type of technology, there are also some grave concerns in terms of privacy, which is a commodity we are quickly losing in today’s Big Brother society.

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11 Responses to University of Texas researchers design chip allowing mobile devices to see through walls

  1. Anonymous April 20, 2012 at 6:27 AM

    george orwelll is shitting himself just imagining this

    Reply
    • racetoinfinity April 22, 2012 at 7:59 PM

      I have a feeling Orwell would be one of the least surprised at this, sadly.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous April 20, 2012 at 6:39 AM

    I honestly can’t believe this is true, even though it is. Imagine how the ‘sheeple’ will handle this.

    Reply
    • big brother can suck my dick April 20, 2012 at 6:58 AM

      Well until I read the actual press release I didn’t belive a word of this report. Too bad its 100% true…..

      Reply
  3. JdL April 21, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    For those who are unfamiliar or need a refresher, the electromagnetic spectrum makes up all wavelengths of electromagnetic energy from visible light to radio waves to microwaves to infrared to ultraviolet and everything in between.

    And X-rays and gamma rays at the high energy end.

    Reply
  4. Amanda April 21, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    It seems rather counterproductive, I mean, to make a product this invasive with as much electromagnetic energy it has and guise it as being a breakthrough in medical technology capable of spotting cancerous tumors, when products such as this, BECAUSE of their electromagnetic energy, is what causes cancer in the first place… Obviously not solely but I believe that the existence of this is falsely fed to the public as a means for good when people don’t realize that it’s the cause of most of our problems, in respect to medicinal aspects, and of course the utmost disgraceful shredding of our constitutional rights and the freedoms it’s made to protect.

    Reply
  5. Mary Hamptom April 25, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Unbelieveable, the more technology evolves the less privacy we people have.

    Reply
  6. rhymes that exposes the crimes April 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    one day they can look through the walls
    and see my mutated balls before it falls
    there is already enough radiation from japan
    don’t need more added to this nuclear quagmire like iran

    cellphones alone can cause tumors
    studies have shown they are more than just rumors
    radiation emitting from a cellphone transmission
    accumulates tumors in your head like volcanic emissions

    my final opinion on this invasive x-ray chip
    it’s a part of a bigger plan to promote spying for the big whips
    who wants us all living in fear and constant chaos
    while they continue to strip us to death like jesus on the cross

    Reply
  7. ed April 29, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    There is information availible which states that the frequency at which these devices operate (tetra) causes un-ra
    veling of the DNA strand. One more weapon to eliminate population…end game is near!

    Reply
  8. Anonymous June 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    orwell was great, but damn its getting old bringing him up as the sole example of dystopian awareness. Try the novel WE by Zamyatin. By the way, these survelling syncophants who spy for the state that shits in their cornflakes everyday are not gonna likewhat they see when they look thru my walls. Fuck all unfounded authority-to the grave!

    Reply
  9. Pingback: DNA-Destroying Chip Being Embedded Into Mobile Phones

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