The idea of having a camera that can see around corners sounds really crazy. Sure, you can see around corners in some respects with the video camera that is well-placed, but this particular camera from MIT uses lasers to see around the corner by picking up echoes of light. The first time MIT talked about the camera was when it was in development in 2010.
The corner peeking camera is now being shown off in action as a bulky prototype. The camera is able to see what’s around the corner by firing 50 different femtosecond laser pulses 60 different times at various spots on a wall. The special imaging sensor collects the scattered light that is reflected back and processes that reflected light using special algorithms. Those algorithms are able to re-create the scene based on how long it took the photons from the laser pulses to return.
Right now the process of reconstructing the image of what’s around the corner takes a few minutes. The MIT researchers are hoping they can reduce that to 10 seconds. A reduction in processing time to 10 seconds would certainly make the camera more usable for military and police work, but a lot can change in 10 seconds. Still, a camera that can see what’s around the corner without actually having to view it is very impressive.