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November 17, 2010

New camera technology can ‘see round corners’

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by Janet Harris

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)is developing technology that camera-shy types are going to hate – a camera that can take photographs around corners.

There’s no escape from the laser-based technology which emits ultra-short high-intensity burst of light that bounces around before returning to the camera to reconstruct the scene.

The light particles can enter nooks and crannies and go over raised surfaces, effectively providing ‘x-ray vision’ – so no hiding behind your granny to dodge the family photo anymore.

Consumers aren’t likely to get their hands on the technology yet though as it is still in an early stage of development and researchers are encountering difficulties with reconstructing complex scenes.

The first applications for the impressively named “femtosecond transient imaging system” are likely to be in the search and rescue and military fields, where it could be used to map disaster and danger areas.

It could also be used in medicine, to peer into nooks and crannies inside the human body.

The system is being developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by Professor Ramesh Raskar.

Story link: New camera technology can ‘see round corners’

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