The idea of curved sensors has been around for a while now. Sony have been working on it since at least 2012, and we even got to see images created by it in 2014. Canon also filed a patent at the end of last year for both curved and “bendy” sensors. So, they’re definitely on the way. But new techniques developed by a team at Microsoft Research could speed things up dramatically.
The team have developed a way to create spherically curved image sensors by bending off-the-shelf sensors. Their quest started with the question “What would an ideal camera be like?”. They decided that very low light performance with sharp result would be vital, and they believed that curved sensors were the solution.