A team of scientists from the Technical University of Munich created a new hologram technology that could work in a similar pattern to superpowers. Superpowers like scanning a room from the outside of the building and knowing what’s inside have never been closer to reality than now.

Meet the new technology

“It can basically scan a room with someone’s Wi-Fi transmission,” says Philipp Holl-one of the technology developers. Philipp Holl and professor Friedemann Reinhard – from TUM – published their research in the Physical Review Letters journal.

The concept of this technology involves the capability of Wi-Fi signal to penetrate walls. Two antennas are utilized to create a Wi-Fi field around the desired area to be scanned. The antennas would detect the phase and the intensity of the field from the source location and the items it reflects from. Eventually, you would get a hologram-like picture of the room.

Pros and Cons

Naturally, the idea of such technology might be of concern to many, but it can also be misused for the invasion of privacy.

“Of course, this raises privacy questions. After all, to a certain degree even encrypted signals transmit an image of their surroundings to the outside world,” explains professor Friedemann Reinhard, “However, it is rather unlikely that this process will be used for the view into foreign bedrooms in the near future. For that, you would need to go around the building with a large antenna, which would hardly go unnoticed. There are simpler ways available.”

On the other hand, the futuristic feature can be a lifesaver in many situations like saving people, after natural disasters, from rubbled buildings. A truck or a van can carry the antennas and go around the wreckage to search for survivors. Also, it can be used by governments and intelligence agencies to accurately detect the location of terrorists and fugitives.

“These antennas don’t need to be big. They can be very small, like the ones in a smartphone,” added Holl. This is great of course because this means that the antennas can be easily carried and transported from one place to the other.

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