Today’s Solutions: May 17, 2022

Have you ever been driving in poor visibility, getting a little nervous being unable to see the road ahead? Well, a new invention from The University of Texas and Oklahoma State University may just put a stop to these scary journeys.

Impressively, this microchip can create images through various obstacles, including fog, smoke, snow, and dust, reducing danger in a number of hazardous conditions.

“The technology allows you to see in vision-impaired environments. In industrial settings, for example, devices using the microchips could help with packaging inspections for manufacturing process control, monitoring moisture content or seeing through steam. If you are a firefighter, it could help you see through smoke and fire,” said Dr. Kenneth K. O who worked on the project.

How does the microchip work?

The microchip works by emitting electromagnetic beams in the terahertz range (430 GHz) that are able to pass through the vision impairing obstacles. When these beams hit an object beyond the obstacles, the signal changes, and this information is relayed back to the microchip. This results in a display of the outline of an object our eyes and current cameras cannot see.

This illuminating device is the result of 15 years of hard work, with its low-cost and low-power requirements making it accessible and realistic for widespread use in a number of applications. The research is also backed by Semiconductor Research Corporation. Dr. Swaminathan Sankaran, design director here, added: “We are excited to see what applications and use cases this terahertz imaging technology will lead to.”

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