Fisheye lens gets a bug-eye makeover


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    The new digital cameras exploit large arrays of tiny focusing lenses and miniaturized detectors in hemispherical layouts, just like eyes found in arthropods.

    - John A. Rogers, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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    Researchers built an artificial composite eye by first making a flat array of lenses and then inflating it into a spherical shape.

    - John A. Rogers, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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    Full 180 degree fields of view with zero aberrations can only be accomplished with image sensors that adopt hemispherical layouts.

    - John A. Rogers, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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    - John A. Rogers, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

You've probably heard of the fisheye camera lens, but how about a bug-eyed one? Researchers at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University have developed a unique hemispherical digital camera based on the eye of a fly. It takes photos with nearly 200 tiny lenses to put together one giant wide-angle almost three-dimensional image that is in focus at all depths of field.

Professor Yonggang Huang, a researcher at Northwestern, joins Marketplace's Ben Johnson to discuss how this type of camera could be used for surveillance, particularly in major cities. In the meantime, you can bug out with the pictures above.

About the author

Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech.

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