A mobile phone that can see through walls or around corners could be just a year away, according to Australian researchers.
New “augmented reality” software developed by Nokia and the University of South Australia involves computer graphics being overlaid on existing video images of the real world.
With the “X-ray vision” app, a user would point the phone’s camera at a building. The person’s location would be pinpointed using GPS and then pictures and images from existing databases – such Google Earth and Google Streetview – would be merged to create an image of what lay behind the building.
Christian Sandor, director of Magic Vision Lab at UniSA, said the research group and Nokia were jointly developing the 'X-ray vision' app, which could be available in one to two years.
“More and more applications use high-quality 3D models, such as Google Earth, or photos, such as Google Streetview, of the environment,” Sandor said.
“Our new applications present the real and virtual worlds together.
“For example, with Meltvision, you can ‘melt’ away a building in front of you to see whether or not there is an ATM in the street behind it.”