Life Of Navin

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One Pixel To Power The Future??

Sony comes out with a 8 Mpix cam, Kodak has a 9 Mpix model, Nikon went past the 10 Mpix barrier..... Are you bored of hearing about companies boasting about their latest models of digital cameras as being the ones with the most megapixels?? Then this blog post is for you!! In this day and age, when companies are struggling to pack more megapixels into their cameras, one company has dared to think different and go backward on the megapixel path (waaaaaaay back!!). Presenting the One pixel Camera...... but don't get me wrong, this camera surely got my head in a tizzy especially after I understood its intricate details.

Rice University's Single Pixel Camera might very well be the camera we use in the future. The research is based on the premise that megapixel cameras are generally wasteful--while the sensors capture a lot of information, most of it is discarded to compress the image and store it on the memory card. Why collect all that information when you're going to discard it anyway? Instead, the researchers start with only the information that's absolutely essential, then work its way up to create a higher-quality image.

Here's what their site says about it
Our new digital image/video camera directly acquires random projections of a scene without first collecting the pixels/voxels. The camera architecture employs a digital micromirror array to optically calculate linear projections of the scene onto pseudorandom binary patterns. Its key hallmark is its ability to obtain an image or video with a single detection element (the "single pixel") while measuring the scene fewer times than the number of pixels/voxels. Since the camera relies on a single photon detector, it can also be adapted to image at wavelengths where conventional CCD and CMOS imagers are blind.

Didn't get it?? Then here's how Richard Baraniuk at Rice explains it (in human terms):
It's like completing a Sudoku puzzle--you can complete the grid once you have a minimum number of squares filled.

Instead of a sensor for every pixel, the camera uses mirrors that reflect light on to the one-pixel sensor one at a time. The process repeats, and an algorithm finally puts the image together.

Smart eh?? But here are some of the drawbacks:

  • The Time factor: The current prototype churns out pics in seconds, not in milliseconds as most modern digital cameras
  • The Quality Factor: You can visit their site (link below) and see for yourself the quality of the pics generated by the cam......there's a great amount of development to be made here!!
But still, this technology is revolutionary, to say the least....and with time, I'm sure that they'll manage to improve on their designs.

Do visit their site for sample pics : Single Pixel Camera Project

Always remember, Never underestimate the Power of One!!

4 comments :

Alice said...

hey nice article

looking forward to a follow up soon!

Navin Pai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

just stumbled on your blog
nice articles dued!

Brian said...

pretty swanky stuff!

any idea how much more they've progressed?

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