You Can Now Judge a Book THROUGH Its Cover

Source: MIT News, September 9

MIT researchers and their colleagues are designing an imaging system that can read closed books.

In the latest issue of Nature Communications, the researchers describe a prototype of the system, which they tested on a stack of papers, each with one letter printed on it. The system was able to correctly identify the letters on the top nine sheets.

“The Metropolitan Museum in New York showed a lot of interest in this, because they want to, for example, look into some antique books that they don’t even want to touch,” says Barmak Heshmat, a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab and corresponding author on the new paper. He adds that the system could be used to analyze any materials organized in thin layers, such as coatings on machine parts or pharmaceuticals….

“So much work has gone into terahertz technology to get the sources and detectors working, with big promises for imaging new and exciting things,” says Laura Waller, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California at Berkeley. “This work is one of the first to use these new tools along with advances in computational imaging to get at pictures of things we could never see with optical technologies. Now we can judge a book through its cover!”

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