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Holographic Camera Reconstructs Objects around Corners

Northwestern University researchers have invented the new high-resolution camera that can see the unseen, including around Corners and scattering media, such as skin, fog, or potentially even the human skull. The study will be published on Nov. 17 in the journal Nature Communications.

They are called synthetic wavelength holography. The new method works by indirectly scattering coherent light onto hidden objects, scattering, and traveling back to a camera. From there, an algorithm reconstructs the scattered light signal to reveal the hidden things.

Due to its high temporal resolution, the method also can image fast-moving objects, such as the beating heart through the chest or speeding cars around a street Corners. The relatively new research field of imaging objects behind occlusions or scattering media is non-line-of-sight (NLoS) imaging.

Compared to related NLoS imaging technologies, the Northwestern method can rapidly capture full-field images of large areas with submillimeter precision. With this level of resolution, the computational camera could potentially image through the skin to see even the tiniest capillaries at work.While the method has obvious potential for noninvasive medical imaging, early-warning navigation systems for automobiles, and industrial inspection in tightly confined spaces, the researchers believe potential applications are endless.

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