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Researchers create camera fabric

Researchers create camera fabric

The camera fabric developed at MIT uses tiny light-sensitive fibres less than a millimetre across which act in concert as a rudimentary camera.

If you've ever wanted your own digital Shroud of Turin, talk to the guys over at MIT: they've come up with a fabric which has the properties of a camera.

As reported by CNet, the team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been able to create a working prototype of a fabric which is able to act like a – very simple, admittedly – camera.

The fabric – which is created from a mesh of light-sensitive fibres less than a millimetre in diameter – is capable of detecting two frequencies of light and sending a signal which can be amplified to produce an image of the fabrics surroundings. So far the team has been using it to reproduce a smiley face image on a nearby computer.

Describing the work carried out by his team to technical journal Nano Letters, associate professor of materials science Yoel Fink claimed that the breakthrough represents “the first time that anybody has demonstrated that a single plan of fibres, or 'fabric', can collect images just like a camera but without a lens.

The technology promises numerous applications – beyond the obvious utility to voyeurs – including the possibility of increasing the amount of information available to a soldier regarding threats in any direction. As the woven fabric is capable of resisting damage – only the fibres in a particular damaged area will stop operating – it also holds promise for more rugged cameras, and as the material is flexible you could wave bye-bye to worries about scratching your camera lens.

Does the technology hold promise, or is the thought of a camera that can only see two colours bore you – even if it covers your entire body and can see in 360 degrees? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

13 Comments

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mjm25 8th July 2009, 14:15 Quote
Will we see Stealth from this? combine a photographic layer and a projection layer in one piece of clothing and you would have enough of an image to camouflage at long distance or in largely cluttered areas.
mrb_no1 8th July 2009, 14:46 Quote
exactly my initial thought. cool stuff
Necrow 8th July 2009, 15:38 Quote
Ah active camo like in BF2142 - good stuff, no use other than military or burglary but good stuff all the same
sub routine 8th July 2009, 15:51 Quote
thats pretty fascinating, wallpaper the house for the ultimate surveillance tool.
SteveU 8th July 2009, 16:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Necrow
Ah active camo like in BF2142 - good stuff, no use other than military or burglary but good stuff all the same

You forgot locker rooms of the opposite sex!! lol
Turbotab 8th July 2009, 16:32 Quote
A crimbo jumper from your gran, could take on very sinister connotations:)
Skiddywinks 8th July 2009, 17:20 Quote
What wavelengths might those be?
perplekks45 8th July 2009, 17:53 Quote
I want a jumper like that! No idea what for but it would make me soooo cool! :|

Seriously... grow up. As impressive as it sounds, it won't be nearly as good once it's on the mass market and it'll be way overpriced and pretty useless due to the first part of this sentence.
M4RTIN 8th July 2009, 22:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
I want a jumper like that! No idea what for but it would make me soooo cool! :|

Seriously... grow up. As impressive as it sounds, it won't be nearly as good once it's on the mass market and it'll be way overpriced and pretty useless due to the first part of this sentence.

are you having an argument with yourself there?
perplekks45 8th July 2009, 23:10 Quote
I just summarized some of the comments above. But after I just read it again myself... I failed. :(
Deadpunkdave 9th July 2009, 02:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjm25
Will we see Stealth from this? combine a photographic layer and a projection layer in one piece of clothing and you would have enough of an image to camouflage at long distance or in largely cluttered areas.

Projection in stealth technologies is always flawed since you are taking the image of a wave at a surface then projecting that image from a point or array of points. This looks unconvincing, particularly as distance between an observer and the object varies due to the differences of far and near field diffraction from a point source. Also, no colour reproduction is perfect so there will differences between the image and projection anyway. You have to refract the actual incident light rays around the object in order for "invisibility shrouds" to work. This has been done in 2d on a small scale, browse newscientist.com or search journals for details. Still a good decade away from macroscopic applications of such technology by most estimations I'm afraid.
Skill3d 9th July 2009, 23:03 Quote
well you wont be invisible with your stealth suit YET, but it will do for some ranged stuff besides if military thinks the same they'll be developing some mil'stuff which will be higher grade offcourse.... this is pretty neat tho... bring in them stealth suits...
[USRF]Obiwan 10th July 2009, 09:21 Quote
Here comes the new upskirt rage...
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