New MIT Technology Is Making Lensless Camera Closer To Reality


The idea of a lensless camera seems too good to be true simply because of the fact that lens is one of the important components of a camera and even the eyes have lenses. However, as scientists continue to push the limits of technology, they are also pursuing the possibility of a lensless camera. To date, the lensless camera is getting closer to reality with the development of a new technique by MIT researchers.

The idea of a lensless camera has long been pursued by scientists because it produces more superior imaging quality compared to the traditional camera. Moreover, lensless camera requires little amount of data to produce images.

In 2013, the MIT Technology Review reported that a New Jersey tech company called Bells Lab had developed the first reported lensless camera. Then in 2016, Hitachi announced that it also created their own lensless camera. However, it is not adopted in real-world applications just yet because it has very slow processing times.

However, a group of scientists from the MIT Lab developed the time-of-flight imaging technique which might make lensless cameras more viable than before. With this new technique, it only needs 50 exposures to send the light through randomized patterns to create a sense of data. Before this, it will take a thousand exposures before an image can be created.

Guy Satat, one of the authors of the paper, said that time-of-flight imaging uses time and distance data along with multiple exposures enable them to reconstruct a scene much faster than the earlier attempts made in creating a lensless camera.

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