A team of engineers at Columbia University has revealed a new flexible camera that resembles a sheet, the innovative camera uses a radical imaging technology that allows it to wrap around different objects. Allowing users to capture images that couldn’t be taken with regular cameras.

Columbia Engineering researchers have developed a novel sheet camera that can be wrapped around everyday objects to capture images. Credit: Science Daily

Columbia University’s team designed a flexible lens that is able to adapt to its optical properties when the camera is bent, this optical adaptation allows the camera to produce high-quality images with a wide range.

“ Cameras today capture the world from essentially a single point in space. While the camera industry has made remarkable progress in shrinking the camera to a tiny device, we are exploring a radically different approach,” team leader Shree Nayar assured in the University’s engineer newsroom.

The group of researchers has overcome a series of obstacle in the making of the camera, but is now a step closer into making the prototype camera possible,

The camera and its uses

The newly developed technology will allow users to wrap the camera around a car, giving a 360-degree view of the site.

Team leader Shree Nayar assures the technology could be used to create a flexible camera, that has the size of a credit card that will allow users to take pictures on one side of the device and display it on other.

The team was able to create individual sensors that allow flexibility without losing the quality of the image between each sensor, the team assures the system could be then manufactured in a more affordable way like plastic or fabric.

Some of the possible uses the team sees for the innovative technology include: wrapping around street poles for a 360 security view, furniture, cars and people’s clothing so the users could capture unusual fields of view.

The team is still working on commercial prototypes that could be later on applied even in cities and countries for security matters.

Nayar’s team developed a novel sheet camera that can be wrapped around everyday objects to capture images that cannot be taken with conventional cameras. They designed and fabricated a flexible lens array that adapts its optical properties when the sheet camera is bent. —Video courtesy of the Computer Vision Laboratory


Source: Engineering Columbia