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Bulky Cameras, Meet The Lens-less FlatCam

Camera technology has improved dramatically in the past decades, but one thing about even the newest cameras has stayed constant: They all have lenses.

Now, that's changing.

Engineers in Texas are building a camera that can make a sharp image with no lens at all.

A stepping stone to OPA sensors? Here's the paper -
FlatCam: Thin, Bare-Sensor Cameras using Coded Aperture and Computation


Cool. I like the idea of a wall paper that is covered in thousands of these sensors. Seems like a good basis for invisible unisurv.
This would be useful for chameleon tech. A flatcam layer receives the light incident on one side of an object, and a phased-array system transmits the same image on the opposite side of the object, thus making the object appear transparent in all directions (not just one).
You'd need phased arrays to act as the cameras and display to achieve true invisibility; the scene would have to be recorded holographically. Otherwise, what you'd have would be a flat moving image wrapped around a 3D object--which would look like Predator camo.
That would be better than nothing, but you are right. Invisibility is a difficult trick, and I don't expect to see it in my lifetime Smile