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FILE: Can X-ray vision become a reality?

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In the collective imagination, like night vision , x-ray vision is often associated with superhuman powers worthy of comic book superheroes. However, recent technological advances and discoveries about biological vision challenge this notion of fiction, paving the way for exciting discussions about the real possibilities of x-ray vision in our modern world. We take stock of this new file.

X-ray vision: recent technological advances

Recent technological advances have made it possible to break boundaries once considered unattainable in the field of X-ray vision. Indeed, by exploiting terahertz waves and the metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS), researchers at the University of Texas have successfully integrated x-ray vision capability into mobile devices. This revolutionary innovation allows smartphones and tablets to see through opaque surfaces, providing practical applications in various fields. Terahertz waves are electromagnetic waves whose frequency ranges between 0.1 and 10 THz. They have very interesting properties for science. Within the electromagnetic spectrum, they are located between microwaves and infrared, emitted among other things by remote controls.

Thanks to this technology, security and authentication can be considerably strengthened. For example, the ability of mobile devices to see through solid surfaces can be used to spot concealed objects or illicit substances, strengthening security protocols at airports, at borders and within sensitive facilities. The fight against counterfeiting of documents or bank notes could also be made easier.


Along with advances in mobile devices, researchers have also developed special glasses that exploit X-ray backscatter to provide vision through solid objects. This technology relies on the diffusion of X-rays inside a closed room, allowing those who wear the special glasses to see through objects located inside that room.

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While this technology can have significant benefits, it of course also raises ethical and privacy concerns. The widespread use of these glasses could significantly compromise the privacy of individuals by allowing them to be monitored without their knowledge, and raises questions about the legitimacy of visual access to private spaces. Additionally, robust security measures must be in place to prevent potential abuse of this technology, particularly with regard to the identification and authentication of authorized users.

Could biological vision through objects be made possible?

Recent research by scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the California Institute of Technology has shed light on a remarkable biological ability in humans: x-ray vision. This ability, shared with some animals, allows you to see through solid objects using a phenomenon of superposition of the fields of vision of the two eyes. This biological adaptation, inherited from our primate ancestors, would have evolved to facilitate survival in cluttered environments such as dense jungles, by making it possible to detect predators or prey hidden behind obstacles.

[ =]This biological capacity has limits and implications that are worth exploring to understand its evolution and potential applications.

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However, although this biological ability provides a distinct advantage in environmental perception, it also has important limitations and implications. For example, biological x-ray vision is limited by distance and density of obstacles, and it can be hindered by factors such as viewing angle and light quality.

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Additionally, its usefulness in a modern context may be questioned, given that human environments are often less cluttered than before. However, understanding this biological capacity can help us design new technologies inspired by nature, and better understand the limits of our own visual abilities.

What technological advances in augmented reality? Are we really talking about x-ray vision?

Of course, through the considerable advances in augmented reality, x-ray vision is logically being studied. Thus, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an augmented reality headset called X-AR, using radio identification (RFID), computer vision and radar. This opens up new possibilities in areas such as logistics and retail. From a technological point of view, this helmet has nothing to do with X-ray vision, but nevertheless, its properties are associated with it since it allows you to discover and find hidden or concealed objects (provided that they are equipped with an RFID tag).

This use finds its place in many professional fields. Thanks to these features, X-AR opens up new perspectives such as better inventory management, more precise navigation in warehouses and an improved customer experience. And despite its current limitations, such as range, the X-AR system promises future improvements that could revolutionize the way we interact with our environment.

Researchers are actively working to overcome these challenges and improve system performance. With continued improvements, X-AR could further bring new ways of working and interacting, opening yet another new path in the field of augmented reality.

What conclusion?

X-ray vision, whether from technology or biology, is attracting considerable interest because of its profound implications for our understanding of human perception.


These advances challenge our traditional notions of vision and raise important ethical questions regarding privacy, security, and fairness in access to such capabilities.

However, it remains imperative to consider the implications of x-ray vision for an increasingly connected and technology-dependent society. It is essential to carefully consider the potential benefits of these advances while ensuring that they are used ethically and responsibly, which we know is far from a foregone conclusion.