Researchers Ori Katz, Eran Small, and Yaron Silberberg of the Weizmann Institute in Israel have made a giant leap forward where camera technology is concerned: They have developed a camera system that can both see through things and around corners without using x-rays or complex lasers. Using natural light, a CCD camera and what’s referred to as an SLM or spatial light modulator, they’re able to take scattered light and pull out a relatively clear image.

The breakthrough here isn’t in the seeing around corners part, you may remember that researchers at MIT already developed a camera that can do just that using a complex laser. The breakthrough is in the use of natural light and, essentially, off-the-shelf parts.

Of course, the camera does have limitation, especially when it comes to seeing through things. Namely, because it actually needs some scattered light to “read,” seeing through a concrete block is out. On the other hand, the ability to see through semi-translucent surfaces such as frosted glass or skin is definitely there.

The hope at this point is to develop this into a medical imaging system that can see through certain hard to resolve tissues. But us laymen who want superhuman powers of sight (and possibly the CIA) may have other plans, because while the MIT camera is the size of a small lab, this tech could potentially fit in camera you could carry around. Check out the full PDF for all of the extremely scientific details.

(via The Verge via ExtremeTech)