Researchers from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed a lensless camera that can record multicolored, sharp pictures without color filters or lens. Contrary to the prevailing camera technology that can record up to 36 color channels, the new technique—that only uses a monochrome sensor and a part of ground glass—can sense infinite spectrum within a single picture.
The camera utilizes speckle patterns in preference to traditional color filters to identify and present the diverse spectra within a picture that are not perceptible to the naked eye. Consequently, the infinite spectrum—comprising UVF (UV Fluorescent), UVR (UV Reflected), VIS (visible), and IR (Digital Infrared)—can be recorded at once.
One of the scientists behind the project, Dr Sujit Kumar Sahoo, said, “It can be utilized in food safety, wherein one can capture an image of meat or fruits in the specific spectrum to hunt for marks that are linked to bacterial activity or chemicals resulting in spoilage.”
It can also be utilized to confirm the legitimacy of artwork by recording the diverse paint layers not perceptible to the naked eyes or also in the pharmaceutical companies as an inexpensive and more flexible alternative to hyperspectral cameras, utilized for drugs’ quality control.
Now, a spectrometer, a device that can divide light into distinct colors, is utilized to identify diverse spectrum within a picture. But it is costly. The price of a commercial spectrometer can span from $3,000 to more than $40,000, said Steve Cuong Dang, Assistant Professor, who guided the study.
The scientists did not detailed on how much low-priced it will be; however, Professor Dang stated the new technique can also be potentially utilized in smartphones as well as DSLR cameras, to assist in making them thinner by decreasing the requirement for expensive and bulky color filters and lens.
A patent is pending for the new technology.