BuzzSkyline writes "Scientists at Rice University have developed a one pixel camera. Instead of recording an image point by point, it records the brightness of the light reflected from an array of movable micromirrors. Each configuration of the mirrors encodes some information about the scene, which the pixel collects as a single number. The camera produces a picture by psuedorandomly switching the mirrors and measuring the result several thousand times. Unlike megapixel cameras that record millions of pieces of data and then compress the information to keep file sizes down, the single pixel camera compresses the data first and records only the compact information. The experimental version is slow and the image quality is rough, but the technique may lead to single-pixel cameras that use detectors that can collect images outside the visible range, multi-pixel cameras that get by with much smaller imaging arrays, or possibly even megapixel cameras that provide gigapixel resolution. The researchers described their research on October 11 at the Optical Society of America's Frontiers in Optics meeting in Rochester, NY."