MIT’s New Camera Can Read An Entire Book Without Flipping A Single Page

by Bret Hoy1 Comment

When we think of cameras, we think about devices that have been created to capture discernable light waves—devices made to recreate what we can see.

This is not the way that everyone thinks about cameras though. In fact, man-made machines have long been used to make sense of waves unable to be experienced with the human eye. And there are far more of these types of machines than you might think.

Barmarck Heshmat at MIT along with a dedicated team of researchers tasked with the goal of reading the unreadable have invented another such camera. This time, instead of imaging your innards via X-Ray, CT Scan or MRI, it uses terahertz radiation to read words written in ink in ancient texts without ever having to flip a page. How is this possible?

Well how about Heshmat himself dives into the details for you. MIT released this video that explains how this sort of miracle is possible. Surprisingly enough, the editing and cinematography on the video is pretty decent.

While this may not be your conventional camera talk, I think it’s rather important to keep your eyes trained on the way that capture technology such as this brews in labs behind the scenes at universities.

Because of the pace at which the world propagates information and advances these days, it may be but a matter of time before we see these MIT researchers re-writing the history books with words that we otherwise unreadable.

Reading through closed books

MIT scientists invented a camera that can read books without opening them

Via Business Insider:

Books that are centuries old are often too delicate for museums to open, read, or explore without causing damage.

But a new camera developed by a team of MIT researchers can read these books without ever touching them.

“I wanted to know how deeply you could read a closed book, because no one has ever tried that,” researcher Barmark Heshmat said in a video published by the MIT Media Lab.

A paper about the new camera was published in “Nature Communication” and notes that it uses terahertz radiation, which falls between the microwave and infrared spectrums.

Read full article at Business Insider “MIT scientists invented a camera that can read books without opening them”

(cover photo credit: snap from Business Insider via MIT Media video)

Bret Hoy

Bret Hoy

Bret Hoy is a filmmaker, photographer and writer based out of St. Louis, Missouri. Mainly focused on documentary and experimental film, he has produced, directed, shot and edited many short films and a few long form works.

He shoots a lot and often.
Bret Hoy


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