One fascinating but mostly theoretical camera tech that could be a game changer is a camera that can see through walls. While such technology could give rise to some harm, there’s a lot of good that will result from it, security-wise.
You may have been reading news articles about thermal cameras and sensor technologies that could help uncover what’s happening on the other side of a wall, but do these translate to practical, real-world usage? Is there a camera that can see through walls?
In this article, you’ll get an answer to that question. Firstly, you’ll learn if it’s practical for a security camera to see through a wall, and if it is, I’ll list some examples. I’ll also analyze the possibility of using your smartphone camera to see through walls.
Is there any Camera. that Can See Through Walls?
The idea of seeing through walls is so vague that it’s difficult to give a straightforward answer. Still, for general purposes, there are no commercially available cameras capable of seeing through walls. While you might have seen some game-changing military tech or something similar, looking at the details will show it’s not what you need.
It’s crucial to note that the preceding paragraph doesn’t imply that it’s impossible to see through any wall under any conditions. There are unique cameras capable of seeing through walls, but most are commercially unavailable, making them inaccessible.
Even if they’re available, they’ll likely be much less practical than your regular home security camera. The reason is simple: cameras capable of showing you anything behind a wall won’t generate a usable image. Generally, they only detect the structure of what’s behind a wall, not a 4k video of happenings behind it.
Also, thermal cameras and x-rays are generally incapable of seeing beyond concrete walls. While they may be able to see through thin walls, like a tent or the walls of a truck, that doesn’t pose a security threat, as most people don’t expect extreme privacy behind a car.
In short, no commercially available security cameras can see through a concrete wall reliably. Given that the act itself has the potential to cause more harm than good, I don’t know the technology coming around in the next few decades.
What Camera Can See Through Drywall?
Cameras generally can’t see through drywall, but if you’re ready to shell out a lot on a special camera, you can get something that sees through thin sheets of drywall. Of course, these cameras are neither cheap nor very accessible, so you must try to get your hand on them.
While I’d have loved to make a list of cameras with this capability, there’s only one that gets close to letting you see through surfaces like drywall: the Xaver cameras from Camero. Camero is an Israeli company that manufactures devices for ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance). The Xaver lineup is the firm’s collection of cameras for seeing through walls.
Using the Xaver cameras, you can see what’s happening behind a wall no more than 100 meters away, but it still doesn’t work like a regular camera. While it can show how many people are in a house, you shouldn’t hope to identify them using the interesting see-through camera tech.
If you hope to complement your home’s monitoring system using the Xaver, you’re out of luck. For one, it’s so expensive that you wouldn’t even consider buying it, and secondly, it’s only available to governments and militaries for intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance.
So, you’re not getting your hands on that impressive camera that sees through walls in the next few decades.
What is an App that Can See Through Walls?
Some apps on the Google Play Store and the App Store claim to help users see through walls. They require you to install the app and point your camera at a wall to see what’s behind it. Some may require you to purchase a small physical camera to make it more “accurate.”
Regardless of how true the claims sound, an app cannot help you see through walls. Your phone lacks the hardware structure required to see through anything that’s not transparent, let alone a thick concrete wall.
In short, you shouldn’t waste time installing apps that promise to help you see through walls using your smartphone alone. The truth is bitter and straightforward: unless you can get your hands on a Xaver, you have a close to zero chance of being able to see behind walls.
How Can We See Through Walls?
For whatever reason, people have continuously sought ways to see things going on behind a wall. Thankfully, the effort expended on this activity over the years has started paying off, as there are technologies that can let you see the structures behind a wall.
However, one drawback of these technological advancements is that they’re not commercially available. Even with the discovery of technologies like the Xaver camera, a non-specialist still can’t test them out, as they’re only available to governments and the military for obvious reasons.
So, how can we see through walls as laymen without access to advanced military tech? Here are some ways to see through walls in 2022.
Magnetometers are not cameras; they’re only used to detect the presence of metal or metallic items behind a wall. With that concise description, you should know how they work and how to use them to take a peek behind walls.
While no commercially available device works this way, it’s theoretically possible to combine several magnetometers and use them to see what metals are behind a wall. At the same time, it will likely be expensive to manufacture. No one’s asking for a see-through camera that costs five bucks.
As mentioned earlier in this article, the Xaver cameras from Camero can see some unclear images through walls up to far distances, making them our best bet for seeing through walls. Unlike magnetometers, they’re capable of seeing both metal and non-metal elements, making them infinitely more useful.
According to Camero, the camera can see through common building materials, so seeing through concrete and similar thick surfaces shouldn’t be an issue. If you’re hoping to get your hands on one of the cameras, you’re out of luck; the Xaver camera lineup includes only pieces of military equipment that are inaccessible commercially.
Can an Infrared Camera See Through Walls?
One widely spread rumor is the capability of an infrared camera to see through walls. Since rumors can be true sometimes, it’s crucial to ask whether an infrared camera can see through walls.
The answer to that question depends on what you define as a wall. Walls of concrete for houses are thicker and harder to penetrate than the walls of a large truck, but they’re both walls. If you’re referring to the walls of a house, it’s almost impossible for an infrared camera to see through it.
Infrared cameras work by converting the thermal energy being emitted from a surface to electronic signals. When you point one at a wall, it will only detect the heat from it, not beyond it. If you’re within your home, you probably should stop worrying about the possibility of someone snooping on your using an infrared camera.
On the other hand, thin walls like the covering of a large truck may not be safe from infrared. Thanks to the thinness, they may not be thick or insulated enough to deflect the infrared rays that pick up the thermal energy, making it work on them.
While an infrared camera will likely be unable to tell what’s happening through a wall from the outside, it should be able to see through very thin and poorly insulated walls. You probably shouldn’t worry about that; nobody should have a reasonable expectation of privacy behind a truck.
Can You Hide from Thermal Cameras?
Regardless of what you might have seen in the movies, it’s not difficult to hide from a thermal camera. Thermal cameras are not magic devices that see through anything and anything, so hiding behind anything thick should do the trick.
If you’re after some practical examples, you should consider hiding behind. While you can see through a transparent glass surface, the material is like a mirror to thermal cameras, as they can’t pass through to see what’s on the other side. Moderately thick walls and a space blanket are some things you can hide behind to avoid detection by a thermal camera.
The thought of through walls using a camera is quite unsettling, even if it looks fantastic in the movies. However, you should be able to sleep soundly at night, knowing that there is currently no commercially available camera that can see through walls.