Engineer Developing Real-Life X-Ray Vision
An engineer is developing technology to make x-ray vision a reality. (KTLA-TV)
X-ray goggles have been on sale at novelty shops and in the back pages of comic books for decades, but KTLA 5's Dave Malkoff recently met Dr. Ken O -- an engineer from the University of Texas -- who says he's building the real thing in a lab.
In the near future, Dr. O wants to enable cellphones with x-ray vision using something called Terrahertz waves.
"Of course, what this does is allows you to see through things," Dr. O said.
Terrahertz waves are a kind of radiation, but they're not exactly x-rays.
The waves operate on a lower frequency than x-rays, Dr. O said.
Their frequency is lower than tanning beds and lower than your remote control.
"Sending something out is like the flash bulb you have in the camera," he said.
And flashing those waves at objects may allow cellphone users to see through and into them.
Dr. O said X-ray vision could be used to detect counterfeit cash for cracks in artwork or even scanning skin for signs of cancer.
But trying to use the technology to sneak a peek beneath someone's clothes, Dr. O said doing so might put the user in danger.
"If you're trying to do something like (that), you have to be within what I call the slapping distance," he said.
When asked what inspired him to try and create real-life x-ray vision, Dr. O said it was children's imaginations that gave him the idea.