Compressive Sensing Camera Has No Lens, Never Needs Focusingderekmead writes "If you get annoyed when your pictures of your cat Mopsy end up out of focus, imagine how frustrating out of focus images are in situation that are actually important, like surveillance. Researchers at Bell Labs have a potential solution: a lensless architecture for taking pictures that are never out of focus.
The new camera is based on the concept of compressive sensing, which, as the authors write in a paper available on the arXiv preprint server, makes it "possible to represent an mage by using fewer measurements than the number of pixels." In other words, it develops an image while tossing out superfluous data.
The architecture described by Gang Huang et al. is surprisingly simple: a single pixel sensor that can record three colors of light is arrayed behind an aperture assembly, potential made by an LCD, that can create a matrix of apertures of varying opacity. By using this matrix with multiple apertures to direct light to the sensor, multiple measurements of light data can be conducted at once. And because the sensor images what passes through the flat sensor, and not what's been focused on it through a lens, images physically can't be out of focus. Although, at this stage they aren't very sharp."
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