A camera lens smaller than a grain of salt, how can it possibly be?
A group of experts created a new camera lens that works the same way eyes of eagles do. In an attempt to create spy gadgets, the scientists were able to make something extremely tiny yet still efficient.
These lenses are smaller than a grain of salt, but don't be fooled, they do wonders (c) Youtube
Scientists started working on the microlens a few years ago, but this new version has improved features increasing the lens’s field of view and focusing ability. The latest version was created using a 3d printer, which details of the study can be found in Science Advances.
The new camera, according to researchers, uses four lenses instead of one. Each set at different focal lengths and is mounted on an image-reading microchip that compiles data from all four lenses into a single image.
The miniscule lenses work by imitating something called 'foveated vision'. This allows many predators to see a wide field of view at low resolution and focus on a single object at high resolution at the same time.
The camera is made up of four plastic lenses, each with a different focal length (c) 3Ders
Humans also have this ability because of our fovea, which a small pit at the back of our eye packed with color-sensing cells called cones. It is the only place where light hits the cones directly, which amps up clarity.
However, eagles do it better. These birds have deep foveae with lots of cones. That is also why “eagle eye” is used to describe great vision.
Though, this chip has impressive capabilities, it still has limitations. The lens' resolution is low, and the chip is too bulky for some kinds of surgery. 3D-printing of each individual lens also takes several hours.
According to the developers, they are now polishing these flaws. Sooner or later, these tiny lenses may soon be used in different fields, such as spying criminals or for medical care.