Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A 360° camera that sees in 3D

Photo © LTS2/LSM



Inspired by the eye of a fly, EPFL scientists have invented a camera that can take pictures and film in 360° and reconstruct the images in 3D.


"Surround sight has come to the camera. Inspired by the eye of a fly, EPFL scientists have invented a camera that can take pictures and film in 360° and reconstruct the images in 3D."

"It will be the ideal tool for videoconferences, video surveillance, movie making, and creating backgrounds for video games. Researchers from two EPFL laboratories have invented a revolutionary camera that can film everything around it, simultaneously and in real time, and then reproduce the images in three dimensions, distortion-free. A patent application has been filed."

"The camera was inspired by the structure of a fly’s eye, and works without resorting to mirrors or mechanical parts of any kind. Over one hundred cameras, similar to those used in mobile phones, are crowded onto a metallic hemisphere the size of an orange. Because they are so close together, their range of vision overlaps slightly. A second, miniature prototype has also been developed. It’s about the size of a golf ball and has 15 cameras. 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. The cameras were designed and built at EPFL in a collaboration between the Signal Processing Laboratory, led by Professor Pierre Vandergheynst, and the Microelectronic Systems Laboratory, led by Professor Yusuf Leblebici." 

Author: Sarah Perrin


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