Cameras need lenses to work, right? Electrical and computer engineers at the University of Utah have developed a camera that doesn’t need a lens. Instead, just like you or me, it sees the world through a window. And this technology could have lots of different applications in the future.
Electrical and computer engineering associate professor Rajesh Menon and his team have developed a lensless camera that uses a plexiglass window instead of a lens. An article on the University of Utah’s website explains the process. In the experiment, the researchers took photos and videos of different symbols on an LED board. They connected the camera sensor to the side of the window but pointed it into the window while the light board was positioned in front of the pane at a 90-degree angle from the front of the sensor. As a result, they got a “low-resolution picture but definitely recognizable.” And the technology works for both color images and full-motion video, as professor Menon explains.
While the image quality isn’t exactly like, say, the one of Phase One XF IQ3 100MP, this technology will definitely have its purpose. With a lensless camera like this, your car windshield could become an obstacle-avoidance camera, seeing the objects on the road. Another possible application is inside your home. Thanks to this technology, every window of your house could be turned into a security camera. It can also be used in VR goggles to reduce their size.
Professor Menon explains that “it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, but it opens up an interesting way to think about imaging systems.” The paper on this lensless camera was recently published in the journal Optics Express, so you can check it out if you want to learn more about this technology.
[via New Atlas]