Feeds

Gigapixel camera heralds new world of snoopery

You want detail? We got detail

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

If you listen very carefully, you can hear the owners of high-end digital SLRs yelling “I want it!” at their computer screens: Duke University researchers have stitched together 98 “microcameras” into a 50-gigapixel monster called AWARE 2.

As the researchers note in their paper in Nature (abstract here), “Ubiquitous gigapixel cameras may transform the central challenge of photography from the question of where to point the camera to that of how to mine the data.”

AWARE 2’s resolution is described as “five times better” than the resolution humans with 20/20 vision have.

Duke U's gigapixel behemouth

Rather than improve the optics of the camera, the researchers focused on the electronics: its 120-inch horizontal field is made of 98 individual “microcameras” each with a 14 megapixel sensor. The optics is fairly straightforward by comparison: one objective lens, with micro-lenses routing different components of the field of view to individual microcameras.

These individual images are then assembled into a single image using software.

The full spec of AWARE 2 can be found here, with a bunch of example images here. Rather than spoil the experience by trying to clip out an image, El Reg suggests readers take a look at the pic entitled “Looking Across the Atrium”, with particular attention to the resolution gauge taped to the wall away from the camera.

AWARE 2 is hardly “ready for prime time”: it’s large and heavy, with much of its bulk devoted to keeping the electronics cool. However, Duke’s researchers believe that gigapixel cameras could be a viable product within five years.

The team of 50 students, researchers and engineers included contributions from the University of California San Francisco, as well as industrial partners from Rochester Photonics and Moondog Optics. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?