Engineers have successfully built a camera without a lens. They replace the lens with something else that can do the same job, a beam of optics is tuned as it passes through an ultra-thin silicon chip. They hope that this discovery will be able to turn almost every plane into an image receiver.
To take a picture, the camera uses a lens. In digital cameras, the lens focuses light in a digital sensor. However, this optical network is a group of light receivers, which slow the light down for about a minute. This time allows the camera to receive and adjust the light as desired.
This phased array technology has been spotted by Space X as well as by Google to provide high-speed internet to the Earth. They operate by predefined broadcast stations, sending the signals to receivers.
Signals from nearby broadcast stations will affect each other. Even in some places, waves cancel out each other, but in some cases, they amplify the waves. By adding a delay, a focused signal can be moved at will-basically, one can have a system to drive the other signal as you like.
The camera in this new test uses the same driving rules, but in the opposite direction. It is made up of a thin layer of light-sensitive silicon, coated on a silicon chip. Sensitive elements receive wavelengths, which obstruct and destroy all directions of light, but leave only one direction. At that point, the waves of light intensify each other, creating a concentrated light that can be electrically controlled.
But do not be too quick because camera technology is about to breakthrough, because it’s still just a testament to how this technology works, but not immediately. It’s just a chip with 64 light emitters giving out 4×4 pixel images, far too far away from any existing lenses. Researchers hope that over time, this non-lens camera system can change the whole technology of shooting, filming current.
The future goal of the researchers is to create a chip that can have more image receivers, which produce higher resolution images and better sensitivity. “The ability to use electricity to control all light properties by using an ultra-thin layer of silicon that is cheap, but does not require manual editing, opens up a whole new visual world.” Hajimiri said.