Friday, 10 December 2010
The multi-lens eyes of insects like the house fly have inspired researchers from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) to invent an unusual looking camera that captures 360 degrees of simultaneous images, which then reconstructs the images in 3D.
The researchers have developed two prototypes, both using camera lenses found in mobile phones. One has a lens head about the size of a tennis ball which features over a hundred camera lenses and the other about the size of a squash ball with only fifteen lenses.
The user can choose to have them all work together to obtain a panoramic image that covers a 360° range of vision, or individually to capture a particular point of view.
Professor Pierre Vandergheynst of EPFL's Signal Processing Laboratory, talks in the video of how the system works and of the abundant uses to which the revolutionary technology can be applied, including video-conferences, video surveillance, movie making, and creating backgrounds for video games.