A novel configuration of interferometry, SMI (self-mixing interferometry), is described in this paper. SMI is attractive because it doesn’t require any optical part external to the laser and can be employed in a variety of measurements – indeed it is sometimes indicated as the “interferometer for measuring without an interferometer”. On processing the phase carried by the optical field upon propagation to the target under test, a number of applications have been developed, including traditional measurements related to metrology and mechanical engineering – like displacement, distance, small-amplitude vibrations, attitude angles, velocity, as well as new measurements, like mechanical stress-strain hysterisis and microstructure/MEMS electro-mechanical response. In another field, sensing of motility finds direct application in a variety of biophysical measurements, like blood pulsation, respiratory sounds, chest acoustical impedance, and blood velocity profile. And, we may also look at the amplitude of the returning signal in a SMI, and we can measure weak optical echoes – for return loss and isolation factor measurements, CD readout and scroll sensing, and THz-wave detection. Last, the fine details of the SMI waveform reveal physical parameters of the laser like the laser linewidth, coherence length, and alpha factor. Worth to be noted, SMI is also a coherent detection scheme, and measurement close to the quantum limit of received field with minimum detectable displacements of 100 pm/√Hz are currently achieved upon operation on diffusive targets, whereas in detection mode returning signal can be sensed down to attenuations of -80dB.