Metamaterials technology enables new forms of imaging that were previously prohibitively difficult. Metamaterials can dramatically improve existing imaging systems by allowing detailed control over the shape of the light, microwaves, or millimeter waves used to illuminate a scene. Metamaterial-enabled imaging systems also integrate with computational imaging paradigms that are most powerful when detailed control over the illuminating aperture exists.
The first commercial development of this technology occurred in 2013 when the Invention Science Fund and the MCC spun out a new company called Evolv Technologies. Evolv aims to usher in the next generation of millimeter-wave security imaging systems using technologies developed in coordination with the MCC, the Invention Science Fund, and several universities. The Boston-based company raised over $11 million in a Series A financing in mid-2013.
Beyond security applications, the MCC is developing other imaging techniques suitable for a number of industries. For example, the MCC has obtained promising initial results using metamaterial imaging for medical diagnosis. These techniques have the potential to be faster, less invasive, and more affordable than conventional options such as ultrasound, MRI, and X-rays.
For industrial imaging, a wide range of frequencies and power levels are routinely used as diagnostic tools, from wall scanning to locate hidden infrastructure to fault detection in materials to real-time feedback during fabrication processes. Metamaterials can enhance these instruments and extend these techniques to other fields.