Thursday, November 18, 2010

Things Your Mobile Camera Will Not Do

We recently previewed the Bluetooth mobile camera that fits on the earpiece of the mobile and now we have discovered two further camera developments.

An Iraqi-American performance artist and New York University assistant professor Wafaa Bilal is to have a thumb-sized camera implanted in the back of his head so he can stream live images to a museum in Qatar.

The camera will be beam photos every minute to the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and the work will be aptly named "The 3rd I." Some of the professor's students and colleagues have objected to the encroachment on their privacy and Bilal has agreed to cover the camera with a black lens cap while he's on campus. So one can literally now have eyes in the back of your head!

We also read at the BBC about a camera developed by US scientists at MIT that can take picture around corners. Instead of seeing through walls they look around them!

The camera uses a femtosecond laser, a high-intensity light source which can fire ultra-short bursts of laser light that last just one quadrillionth of a second (0.000000000000001 seconds).The light particles scatter and reflect off all surfaces including the walls and the floor and the camera captures the result with the light being effectively reflected around any obstacle. The light bounces around reflecting off objects, or people and effectively round the bend.The experimental camera shutter opens once the first reflected light has passed and also captures the arrival time of the light particles at each pixel.

To build a picture of a scene, the set up must repeat the process of firing the laser and collecting the reflections several times.

The uses are obvious and many but the picture may not be what you expect.

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