Thursday, 20 July 2017

New Cameras That Don't Use Lenses

They can be super tiny, light, and very thin. They're the new cameras being developed by Caltech that use OPAs (optical phased array).

They made a new version of the same project they did last year; this time an 8x8 (64 receptor) lensless camera, as a small proof-of-concept that works.

"We've created a single thin layer of integrated silicon photonics that emulates the lens and sensor of a digital camera, reducing the thickness and cost of digital cameras. It can mimic a regular lens, but can switch from a fish-eye to a telephoto lens instantaneously -- with just a simple adjustment in the way the array receives light," according to the lead investigator.

The OPA is a grid of receptors. They each can be controlled to take in light from a particular direction. So, when they focus all their 64 receptors on a target that has 2 lights on in front, the 2 lights are perceived in the recorded image. The concept can be scaled up from there to higher resolution.

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