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Laser-Powered Camera Sees Around Corners

Out of all the fantastic elements in the film Wanted, there was one bit that's science fact: the gun attachment that allowed Mrs. Pitt to peer around corners. It's called a CornerShot, a hinged rifle stock with a camera, LCD monitor and pistol mount.

Science laughs at our awe with the magic bending gun, because it's got something better: a camera that can see around corners unaided. The technique is called Femtosecond Transient Imaging, since it uses quadrillionth-of-a-second laser pulses, which can bounce around obstacles to an unknown area. A computer then maps out the location based on the return time of each pulse. It's like sonar, but with light.

This landmark viewing method is being developed by researchers at MIT's Media Lab. The applications for this kind of remote viewing is endless, from smart weapons to search-and-rescue operations. Let's just not put it on a robot, ok MIT? We don't really need to help them find us when the war comes.

[source: MIT Media Lab via Popular Science]