New development by scientists will help people see through walls. Video.

Dmitry IvancheskulLife
Although seeing through walls won't work like Superman's, the technology can still be very useful

In the not-too-distant future, Superman-like X-ray vision may no longer be something from the realm of science fiction. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have come up with a technology that allows people to see through walls.

The development was described on the institute's website. However, to get superhero powers, you will need augmented reality (AR) glasses.

These glasses create virtual content superimposed on the real world. However, researchers at MIT have come up with an interesting and potentially useful addition to these glasses.

"Our goal with this project was to create an augmented reality system that lets you see invisible things - things that are in boxes or around corners - and at the same time, it can guide you to them and really let you see the physical world in a way that was not possible before," said Fadel Adib, associate professor and lead author of the research paper.

The researchers have equipped Microsoft's HoloLens AR glasses with a flexible antenna that adds X-ray vision. They dubbed their development X-AR.


However, in order for this vision to work, invisible objects must have a special radio frequency identification tag (RFID). This is a commonly used element that you may have seen in stores on various items. Sellers use these tags to mark goods that can be slipped into pockets or simply expensive items so that detectors will be triggered if someone tries to take them out. Tags also have many other applications.

In the case of X-AR, the tag in the field of view of the glasses can be displayed in virtual reality as a label, a picture of the product, or any other selected image.

Displaying the tag through AR glasses

The only drawback of the technology is that you can only see the tag through the glasses when it is no further than 4.5 metres away. However, the user can specify what they are looking for in the AR glasses menu, and the glasses will react to the RFID tag as they approach it.

An application that processes such tags can direct the user to the object and react to the fact that they have picked it up.

Potential applications of this technology now include use in warehouses, delivery, retail and other places where RFID tags are commonly used.

However, the researchers claim that the potential applications of this technology are much broader, including determining food safety and assisting in search and rescue operations in the event of a disaster.

Although the prototype was created as a complement to HoloLens, the researchers say that in the future, the technology could be applied to other augmented reality headsets.

Previously OBOZREVATEL told about the technology that allows you to see people behind walls with Wi-Fi.

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