MIT lab invents X-ray vision, sort of

Scientists at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory create a radar system that can see through walls. Won't this be fun at home?

I am always of two minds about knowing what my neighbors are doing behind their closed doors. I know it must be something weird.

Why, one of my neighbors sits in his car--which is running and parked outside my house--for hours on end watching videos. Of course, he's married.

So I (or at least a part of me) is grateful that I might soon have the opportunity to see straight through their walls and spy on what kinds of videos they watch at home. You see, extremely clever people at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory have come up with a radar system that sees straight through walls.

It does sound a little Supermannish, and I am grateful to PCMag for radaring it to my attention. MIT's own website makes these claims with quite frivolous abandon.

Even more exciting, there's a video, embedded above, that shows these objectively prurient souls boring their beady eyes straight through concrete. Naturally, the MIT folks claim that the main purpose of this technology is to help soldiers be able to see inside people's homes to increase their "situational awareness".

The clever thing about this creation is that it uses short wavelengths, more or less the same as a wi-fi signal. In order to prevent signal loss, the scientists use an amplifier, with lots of small antennas, to push the signals along.

As yet, the snooping system isn't able to see still objects. It merely captures movement. But, hey, that's a start.

The only other slight drawback is that the machinery is currently rather hefty. Indeed, the researchers say they expect to see it mounted on a military vehicle of some kind. This would surely make it a little obvious in the neighborhood. Someone might get it into their head that you are working for some sort of nefarious organization.

However, if you decide to enact a vast construction project, you can surely park something large in your driveway and conceal the machine. That way, you'll be able to learn a lot more about those cozy, fancy-dress dinners for eight that the Woodchuck-Wilsons at number 32 keep having.

 

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