Researchers Invent A Camera With No Lens That Is Never Out Of Focus

Flickr/Bien StevensonThis is not the new camera.Bell Labs, the New Jersey research and development firm responsible for such technologies as the transistor and the software underlying Apple’s Mac and iOS operating systems, has come up with another piece of cool technology: a camera that doesn’t need a lens and is never out of focus.

The technology, as described in an article in MIT’s Technology Review, is simultaneously simple and ingenious. 

Rather than using a lens to focus light onto film or a sensor, which can lead to all kinds of distortions and focusing problems in traditional cameras, the camera takes numerous snapshots using a sensor that detects three colours of light, and by comparing many of them in software puts together a complete image.

Besides never producing images that are out of focus, the camera also has the advantage of being cheap to produce. In fact, the team behind it says that it was built using components that are already available to anyone on the market.

While the camera is only able to capture still scenes at the moment, the Bell researchers claim that the technology has practical applications in quickly comparing differences in scenes and computing the speed of moving objects.

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