A team from the University of Oviedo has managed to develop a prototype miniscanner using the sensors found in next-generation mobile phones that could turn them into devices to see through objects with identical results in terms of quality and efficiency as those used in airports, but with a much more affordable price.
The electromagnetic imaging system developed by the Signal and Communication Theory Group of the University of Oviedo allows see through paper, cardboard or clothing, the Asturian academic institution reported this Monday.
To create this device, researchers have used phones that have a built-in radar, such as some Google devices that were designed to detect gestures such as turning pages with the movement of the hand, and that They have 5G technology, which emits in very short millimeter waves that allow to obtain high resolution images.
Professor and researcher Jaime Laviada, from the Department of Electrical, Electronic, Computer and Systems Engineering at the University of Oviedo, explained that the increase in frequency has made it possible to gain in resolution, so that “What used to be a simple stain is now a very clear image” of objects such as scissors or keys.
The Signal Theory and Communication Group explains that a combined technology has been used to convert mobiles into miniscanners: mobile cameras to follow the mobile’s position and communication units to broadcast and transmit, just like a radar does.
“To obtain the image, we use the cameras of the mobile and we move the phone in front of the area that we want to scan in zig-zag and, in addition, we use radar or the telephone’s own communication system to transmit and receive waves. Thanks to this combination we have achieved tremendously sharp images “, Laviada stated.
According to the researchers, this technology can also be used to detect manufacturing defects in buildings, in the search for pipes in houses or even scanning for foreign particles in food.