No lens? No problem with Flat Cam. Surveillance in microform.
The reason your camera currently can’t hide in a business card or why they look awkward in the frame of those surveillance spy glasses is because of lenses. Those lenses, no matter how small we make a camera, tend to take up a good chunk of space such that, even if the camera is hidden, it has to hide in something with at least a little bulk to it. Or it used to, anyway.
Engineers from Rice University are taking inspiration from ancient pinhole cameras to design a new kind of camera that’s basically paper-flat and devoid of a lens. Like a pinhole camera, it uses a hole to let in light. Unlike a pinhole camera, and to make better use of light, it has millions of holes. A little computer science allows the camera to reconstruct one solid image from the many images let in by the numerous holes and voila, you have a functional camera that’s super thin. So thin, in fact, you could paper an entire wall with them and have access to viewing an entire room.
A flat camera that you can basically manipulate like paper could have dozens of applications; secret body and dash cams, easily hidden security cameras virtually everywhere. You could up the ante on the GoPro market by being able to use the cameras in far more extreme conditions, or in much crazier places. Want to see where pizza rat is taking his meal? Pop a paper cam on it. Or put one on a helium balloon and let it loose in a storm. Imagine the surveillance possibilities.
If you could roll out cameras like you roll out tape or paper, what could you do with them?