Camera that may replace your eye

New technology being developed takes it’s inspiration from the human eyeball and offers a variable zoom lens in a more compact design.  This technology is being developed by a joint team from the Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has spearheaded what researchers have called the first curvilinear camera in the world to feature zoom capabilities.  The design is based on an array of flexible silicon photo-detectors bound to an elastic membrane behind a liquid lens.  As the fluid is removed from the camera, both the lens and the flexible sensor become concave which changes the focal point and creates a zoom lens far smaller than anything man-made.  They basically ripped off the human eye concept.  Eye Pirates!

The current prototype which measures less than an inch in diameter, has a zoom of 3.5x – around the same as many low end digital cameras.  The team believes they can boost this significantly and as technology develops this could become a very useful tool in many applications.  The idea that this camera could eventually replace an eye in the case that someone is blind or goes blind later in life is very real and something that many of us have to look forward to as a replacement.

The real question is- what are we going to do with the old eyeballs?  I think some should go to science, but I would like to eat mine.  They have tacos with beef eyeballs that are quite tasty, I wonder if eating your own eyeballs would be considered cannibalistic or sadistic?

Eyeball soup.

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About Jonathan G. Nelson

Jonathan G. Nelson is the editor-in-chief and owner of NERD TREK. He is also owner/publisher at AAW Games /, a tabletop gaming company based in Snoqualmie, WA. Connect with Jonathan via Facebook.