Ever wanted to know what it’s like to be bug? To see what they see with those weird-looking eyes? Scientists and researchers at the University of Illinois are developing a unique digital camera that mimics what most bugs see, complete with a 160-degree field of view and “nearly-infinite” depth of field.
The camera is covered in tiny domes, which are covered in 180 microlenses, which each capture their own angle of the subject being shot. Essentially, the microlenses all work together to come up with one large collective image that’s high-resolution, sharp, and has a wide field of view.
The camera is obviously in its early stages, but scientists say that this technology could be used in surveillance cameras in order to capture a better picture that’s both sharp and can see everything in a large space. It would also be useful in endoscopic cameras, which are used by doctors to see inside the human body during surgical procedures.
Whereas traditional digital cameras have a flat sensor and a single camera lens, this bug-inspired camera has hundreds of lenses, which essentially bend and curve the elements found in a normal digital camera into a half-sphere in order to achieve a very wide field of view. It’s not said when the new cameras could hit the industry, but the researchers have already been working on the technology for several years now.