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Electronic Eyeball Uses Curved Image Sensor 35

Posted by timothy
from the intelligent-design dept.
AnonymousCoward writes "US researchers have made a digital imaging system designed like the human eyeball — its image sensor is on the inside of a hemisphere like your retina. Resolution is so far low, but finding a way to use silicon sensors this way offers a way around the unavoidable distortion that results from projecting a wide angle view onto a flat sensor."
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Electronic Eyeball Uses Curved Image Sensor

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  • by wooferhound (546132) <tim@wooferhoun[ ]om ['d.c' in gap]> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @04:12PM (#24502121) Homepage
    I will keep an eye out for more information about this article . . .
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by inKubus (199753)

      I guess we'll see how this looks soon.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 4D6963 (933028)

        I will keep an eye out for more information about this article . . .

        I guess we'll see how this looks soon.

        Uh oh, chain of bad ocular puns in sight..

        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The appearance of this incredible technology to my eyes leaves a gaze of blind glare in my squinted vision. As I notice the visibility of this project on Slashdot, I can only wonder how many page views this will receive. Look, to ability to watch TV is very important, so if this noticeably forward looking technology can ensure that blind people can glance at hot women, then let me bare witness: Today was the day that we stared the future dans les yeux!

          Now cut it out. SERIOUSLY!

        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Ocular? Hardly knew her!

        • at least you saw it coming

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by spun (1352)

      "I'll keep an eye out for you."

      Isn't that what the hooker with the glass eye said to her loyal customer?

  • Is it that much different from a camera lens??
    • Re:Enlighten me... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @04:47PM (#24502623)

      Yes. Perspective correction for flat sensors (or flat film) causes all sorts of problems, from corner softness to chromatic abeeration, and that is why camera "lenses" actually have dozens of elements (i.e., actual lenses) inside them (which in turn cause other problems, like flare). With this kind of design, you can basically get away with using a single lens (for fixed focals, anyway).

    • Re:Enlighten me... (Score:4, Informative)

      by StrategicIrony (1183007) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @07:29PM (#24504477)

      i'm sorry.... let's insert some definitions...

      is a curved digital optical sensor "much different" than an array of 6-20 ground glass lenses?

      Why.... yes... it is. :-)

  • Domed lenses (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Buzz_Litebeer (539463) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @04:23PM (#24502273) Journal

    I could have sworn years ago that there were people making headway in having cameras that were domed cameras that, with software, would allow people to pan and view within half of a sphere of view.

    Whatever happened to these things?

    Why are we not able to produce these now? Why not simply have a spinning CCD?

    I could never understand why we would not have something like this at a grocer then later simply use software to pan and zoom and see everything.

    Could call it a panopticon camera.

  • Ok, so you take a photo that doesn't have any distortion around the edges, then edit it by projecting it onto the inside of a sphere, then print it onto the inside of a bowl?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Rayeth (1335201)
      The problem there is that flat monitors are so much easier to make and take up much less room. Convincing people sitting at a desk to install spheres or bowls to use their computers is unlikely at best. Of course that is besides the point, when you consider that manufacturing such devices is probably equally hard. Much easier to develop 1 new sensor that intergrates into the rest of the system, than a system to fit 1 sensor.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tilandal (1004811)

        All monitors were very curved for many many years. Its a great deal more difficult to make flat monitors.

        • by timster (32400)

          That statement is only true of CRT monitors. There is no current process to make a curved LCD.

    • by vrmlguy (120854)

      I suspect that images captured by this device won't be intended for display. Instead, it could be used in computer vision systems. If you're taking a picture of everyone walking past a point in an airport concourse, you'd like the people at the edge of the image to be undistorted; it would make the terrorist recognition software a bit easier to write. Likewise, an autonomous vehicle could use this to better recognize its environment.

    • by NitsujTPU (19263)

      I saw a lot of comments on this and thought that I'd chime in.

      Here's the idea.

      If you have a fisheye lens, that lens normally projects onto a flat CCD which is used to take the picture. That picture is distorted when it hits the lens. If you want to flatten the picture, you can do so by modeling the distortion imposed on the image by the lens, then inverting that distortion. This is a common practice in computer vision applications.

      If we're to look at this model, it becomes readily apparent that some sect

  • I can get some eyes in the back of my head.
  • If your name is Steve Austin, and you're a teenager, then this would be about the right time to start your test pilot career.

    • If your name is Steve Austin, and you're a teenager, then this would be about the right time to start your test pilot career.

      Yeah, except $6 million doesn't buy as much these days as it did in the mid 1970's.
      • In some respects, $6 million now buys a lot more than in the mid 1970s. For computer technology, $6 million today could be used to purchase the computing power of a million mainframes from the 1970s. Some things are available now that would cost infinity dollars in the mid 1970s, like the cures for some diseases, or drugs to keep certain diseases in remission (e.g., AIDS, etc). We have the DNA sequences for humans and other species. Anyone can buy a cellular phone; it's easy to forget what a miracle it
  • "Resolution is so far low..."

    ...that my wife looks good.
    ...that it's only useful as a limbo webcam.
    ...that my Chinese neighbor Low Fat is the only person it works for.

  • The electric eye is a green type of...tube
  • by jhfry (829244)

    The purpose of curving the sensor is so that you can maintain an equal ratio of pixels to degrees horizontal and vertical... IE if the lens is capable of 180 degrees horizontal... and you have an 1800 pixel display... you want 10 pixels per degree of view.

    Why not just use a glass lens and a sensor array that has more pixels at the edges than in the middle... no fish eye, no distortion, no curved sensor.

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