Satellite cameras can already read license plates, but soon they'll be able to count the hairs on your head. That's thanks to the scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who've figured out a way to enhance infrared imaging with a series of holes that are each just 1.6 millionths of a meter wide.
Nestled inside each one of those nano-sized holes are quantum dots, ultra-tiny crystals packing some super-powerful optical and semiconductor magic. This bit of microscopic trickery creates images and night vision that's 20 times sharper than the best systems we have now.
We already know about satellite cams that can resolve images that are 20 inches across. But the highest-resolution imaging power of today's sharpest satellites is a top secret, so something 20 times better than that — what will they be able to see? And it's infrared, so the cameras will be able to spot heat sources, maybe even through walls. Even tinfoil hats won't help.