Real X-Ray Glasses (with camera) Exist - Here's How You Protect Yourself From Being Invaded

by Jerrico_Usher

Science And Technology Have Become Incredible To The Point Of Invasive...

I love watching the shows that boast about digital technology like "Leverage" and "Las Vegas" where they often show you what is either possible or probable. Not all technology concepts in these shows are real, but you'd be surprised how much actually is out there but hidden in the obscurity that is often too expensive for the common person to afford or even know about.

As a kid I saw the x-ray glasses you could buy in the back of magazines like popular science or those "things you never knew existed" mini-mags you would get in the mail as a direct marketing tool. I never believed that you could actually buy something for 1.00 and could see through clothing and walls- it was a gimmick an optical illusion where by light is refracted to the point of creating a shadow that is both smaller and thinner than the original. This is how the fingers appear to be see through- the "bones" you see are just your fingers in a double vision trick propagated by the glasses.

The glasses I'm going to talk about are not a gimmick, not fake, not an optical illusion, and are not radio active (as in real x-rays used in hospitals). Not this is a very real, very scary thing.

This Is What They Look Like
This Is What They Look Like

How It Works In A Nutshell

Fast forward 20 years. Someone out there actually figured out and created REAL X-Ray glasses (by accident), and this is no gimmick- rather, it's a spawn of another bunch of technologies introduced by Sony (but not intended for this use, in fact Sony Had no idea what they'd invented!).

It's no surprise Sony would be the company to create such an amazing technology, they have lead the way to innovation for decades but what really makes me laugh is that they didn't even know they did it!

In this article I'm not going to describe these glasses so you can buy them. My point here is the opposite- to protect those who may not realize how ignorance of how it works gives the glasses the ability to penetrate their clothing, privacy put in jeopardy like a FaceBook account with no tweaks to stop it from sharing everything you post.

In an era where someone can not only see through your clothing using state of the art technology but can record it without you even realizing they are doing it, and those images can be broadcasted on the internet embarrassing you and discrediting you, it's important that you understand how it works, how you can protect yourself, and even how you can recognize the people who are using it. It's a fascinating technology really and it will blow your mind how it works!

I know some people will be offended at the very concept of x-Ray glasses but all perverted concepts aside I want to focus on the concept that technology has made it possible to see through clothing, even through several layers, and to educate you in how this technology works, how it came to be, and what you can do to stop people from invading your privacy- literally.

Their are several types of X-Ray glasses on the market. Some are true X-Ray others are optical illusions. I want to talk about the range of types and how their technologies work. I find this technology fascinating for a lot of reasons but I find is a bit scary due to how it works and how it's banking on another technology that is becoming more and more prominent, especially during the summer months- Synthetic Fiber Clothing or "Breathable cotton" that allows the sun to penetrate your swimsuit or clothing so you can "tan" even in areas where your wearing clothing.


So that's the end, let's talk about how the means work

I'm not sure what year this came out (I believe it was around the turn of the century- the year 2000) but one year Sony came out with a Sony Handi-cam with Night vision. This camcorder was capable of seeing in as low as 1 lux luminance, meaning it can practically see in pitch dark with only a smidgen of light available. I used to own this camcorder and I can attest to it's brilliant ability to see in the dark, but this wasn't a perfect full color video you'd record. It's more like a green lit video like you see on the movies with those night vision goggles. It was simply applied to the camera using a few technologies that have been around forever.

The first technology involved is inferred light. Inferred light cannot be seen by the naked eye, but with the right filter in the lens it can be converted into a green tinted image. The way it works is the light is beamed out from the source and bounces off anything in it's path. Some things reflect the light better than others thus those things have a better contrast when shot back to the cameras lens.

The camera's lens translates that inferred light into the green tinted image you see by filtering out all but the IR light.

This is green, black, and possibly white mixed in somewhere. So the concept is simple, reflected inferred light (which is powerful because it goes out and reflects back in pitch dark without illuminating anything in it's path to the nakid eye - so it's invisible to anyone but someone wearing a lens that can translate or rather filter the light being reflected back.


The really interesting part, and Sony was themselves shocked to find this out, is that the X-Ray technology was stumbled upon by accident when someone decided to use their Sony Handi-cam during the day in bright sunlight in "night vision" mode just to play around and discovered from the footage shot at a local beach, that when inspected on a large screen HD television that some of the people they shot and zoomed in on (boys will be boys right?) showed people who were wearing bathing suits had translucent clothing!

After further investigation and testing they came to realize that their camcorder doubled as an X-Ray camera! Sony soon after finding out about this "glitch" pulled the feature off the market and retooled it so this wouldn't happen (I doubt they were successful as soon after the above pictured lenses came out that you could add to any camcorder with night vision to create the same effect). If you have an old 2000+ Sony Handi-cam with night vision, then you own the world's first accidental X-Ray camera!

Sales of the unit skyrocketed on eBay after this was discovered and became all the rage on some blogs. Still many people have never heard of this and thus are not even aware of the security potential this invades!

How The Technology Works Where Seeing Through Clothing Is Concerned

If you thought the camcorder was scary, chew on this- Some unscrupulous people have banked on the concept and created actual glasses with pinhole camera's inside them in the center top of the frames. These cameras use a standard CMOS camera but in front of it is the translator lens/filter that makes it possible for the X-ray to work.

The glasses, like the camcorder, beam out a wide array of inferred light then the light reflecting back is processed into an image, or in this case a series of images that make a movie. That movie is then recorded by a hidden DVR (digital video recorder) wired to the glasses.

Now that you understand how that works, let's talk about how exactly this sees through clothing, after all, cloth doesn't seem to exactly reflect light effectively- but that is one of the reasons this works.

The "security hole" in this whole scenario is based on synthetic fibers, thin (but opaque) cotton and the fact that almost all bathing suits are now made of "breathable" cotton that although covers you up nicely to the naked eye, allows the UV rays of the sun to penetrate and thus gives you a perfect tan as if you weren't wearing anything at all. This was a great innovation because you could avoid getting "tan lines" and still wear clothing.

The problem?

UV rays and Inferred rays penetrate these fibers practically the same way only the inferred rays bounce the light back to a camera/glasses with a filter that literally filters out everything but the inferred light itself. The inferred light same as all other light reflects back so unless you have a filter to block all but one source- inferred, you won't achieve any type of X-Ray vision. But filter all other light out and what you get is a pixilated version of an image.

The image produced is not high definition, but it's enough to make you worry if your picture was published online.

I can't show you that here due to limitations of what's allowed on this site, but you can go to YouTube and type in "how to see through clothing" and you'll have plenty of examples of just how scary this technology is.

What's happening is the IR light reflects very well from human skin. The light penetrates the clothing/bathing suit bounces off the skin and "reports back to the lens". That light is then filtered from the daylight in much the same way RealD 3D movie glasses work to filter slightly light from the screen to reveal the "hidden" offset image (why it's blurry, there are two images on the screen). If you cover one eye the screen will go back to 2D (flat images) but through a more sophisticated process.

Since the light is absorbed by the clothing itself the only holes in the image are where the fibers are. There are tens of thousands of holes in this cloth, even though it appears opaque. It's not "clear" or "High Definition" because although there are likely more holes than fiber, there is enough fiber to fool the naked eye.

How To Protect Yourself, Your Privacy

As with any good technology, regardless of how high tech it is, there is always an Achilles heal. The technology doesn't penetrate the old school fabric or anything non synthetic (unless it's a thin material). It's mainly the new synthetic fibers that are infected by this technology. Although synthetic fiber clothing and bathing suites are all the rage right now, the old school cotton fibers are still in production and always will be I would imagine. Wearing bathing suits of 100% cotton, or natural fibers will shield you from the X-ray glasses and SNVC (Sony Night Vision Camcorders from the late 90's early 2,000's).

Women, you'll be glad to know that most bra's are safe, as they are thick, and even the lacey variety will often protect you but if it's in any way see through, keep in mind that they will likely be able to bypass the fabric.

Knowing how technology works and by what means it doesn't is always half the battle. I hope this has shed some light on it for you.

Now that we've concluded the scary stuff, you should be armed with enough information to protect yourself. Let's dive into the other less invasive and realistically cool X-Ray glasses concepts (they don't see through like the other glasses but they can be used for some intriguing "Spy" stuff. let's talk about that next.

X-ray glasses
X-ray glasses

In this next type of glasses there is no technology involved- at least nothing digital or requiring batteries. It's based on a specific lens that acts mainly as a filter. This is like a high tech version of the original x-ray glasses but it incorporates some of the filter technologies in the aforementioned glasses.

These work by filtering out light but don't specifically broadcast any inferred light or create any type of light to decode. They are a lot like the "blue blocker" glasses sold on infomercials years ago but they go a step beyond that as they can see through clothing but not to the skin. What these types of glasses really do is see a specific color through clothing. If you paint on your stomach, for example, a message or place a peice of paper with a message in a specific color, you can read the message through the clothing. That's the extent to these glasses power. They are, for the most part, safe and more so a spy message decoder ring of a sort.

Shirt View Without Glasses


Message Seen Through Glasses


This is more like the old school Captain Crunch cereal box gimmicks in the 80's-90's. It's still a bit cool though.

What I like the most about these glasses is not the actual X-ray technologies but the way it can distort the world you see around you in real time to bring a bright and intense view. It sees certain spectrum of light and thus gives the world an interesting view.

See the images below to see what I mean:

Before Glasses


After Glasses

(view through glasses)
(view through glasses)
Updated: 06/23/2012, Jerrico_Usher
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AgingandDisability on 06/24/2012

Amazing glasses. Wouldn't mind trying them out for the experience.

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