To see through a wall is not something simple, the human eye can not see through an opaque object, perhaps a super hero with your X-rays yes, but we need to make use of the technology. Currently, the method «simple» is using a thermal camera, that allows us to detect items behind an opaque object by the energy given off. But thanks to a new technology developed by engineers from MIT, with a reflex camera or even a cell phone we will be able to know what is behind a wall or opaque object by looking at its corner.
How is this possible? There is a trick, and that is that it is based on an analysis of the shadows generated by an object. To analyze closely the shape, the tone and the movement of the shadows that appear on the side of a wall, you can determine what is behind it. Thanks to an algorithm able to understand these factors of the shades can be to detect an object and its movements just look in the corner of a wall.
A technology (of time) limited
According to the developers at the moment, technology is somewhat limited. By relying on forms of shadows so you can only detect their presence but not their form factor, composition or details of the same. On the other hand, as is obvious, being an analysis of the shadows requires an environment illuminated to generate shadows of the object.
According to the developers, to The Verge, the system requires a computer at the moment. But it would not make any difficulty to integrate it in a mobile phone for example, given the power of current mobile devices. What is in mobile phones where more advantage is you would get? Probably not.
With a great potential ahead
According to its creators, CornerCameras (which is the name given to this new technology) could be applied very well to the driving systems autonomous. You do not have to be a wall in between, the technology is already useful by itself to analyze shadows. Applied to the system of sensors of an autonomous vehicle, could detect if another car, a pedestrian or a cyclist is approaching on one side to avoid the impact.
In fact, have already tried this kind of scenarios, and it works surprisingly well. In addition, the car does not need to know many details about it on the side, no matter that it is a yellow car, a red one or if it is a convertible or not, matter to avoid a collision. Sooner or later, this type of technologies will be integrated in the services of driving autonomously, and without realizing it.