8 innovations

Revolutionary single pixel camera

Rice University researchershave decided that less is, in fact, more. Scientists in Houston, Texas have determined a way to build asingle pixel camera that they claim will be cheaper way to take pictures in thefuture. Using one photodiode and one digital micromirror device (DMD) -- whichis used primarily in digital TVs and projectors to convert digital informationto light (and vice versa) via its thousands of tiny mirrors -- light is"shined onto the DMD and bounced from there though a second lens thatfocuses the light reflected by the DMD onto a single photodiode." Then,the DMD's mirrors shuffle at random for each new light sample, creating a newpixel value. The pair of lenses and the DMD thus compress data from a biggerimage (left) into a smaller approximation (right). That said, don't expect thistechnology to make your consumer digicam any cheaper real soon, as theprototype requires five minutes for the engineers to take a picture using thistechnique, and even then, they can only shoot still objects.

Source: physorg.comAdded: 11 October 2006