Created a Lenses Thousand Times Very Thinner Eliminate Ugly Smartphone Camera Bumps
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Smartphones are recently plagued by a host of ugly design features and body that compromise aesthetics for functionality, including camera’s holes and notches in all mobile screens, and protrusions on the back to accommodate camera optics. But those bumps might be removed in upcoming devices thanks to a team of researchers at the University of Utah who’ve developed a radically very thin camera lens.
Patent Shows How Apple Will Lose The Ugly Camera Bump With Curved Photo sensors
For comparison to all previous devices, the lens elements used in today’s smartphone cameras, which gather and focus light onto a tiny sensor, are a few millimetres thick for giving an attractive look to mobile devices. The best smartphone’s cameras will use multiple elements, which quickly add up, resulting in a thin phone simply not having enough room to house all of them: hence the camera bump trend. But a group of electrical and computer engineering researchers at the University of Utah have succeeded in creating a new type of optical lens that measures just a few microns thick, or about a hundred thousand times thinner and one hundred times lighter than what you’ll find in smartphones today.
How is possible given to the curved shape of a camera lens is crucial to it being able to capture and bend adequate light and an entire scene in one capture? As described in a new research paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the lens takes an approach similar to the giant solar furnaces in operation around the world. Instead of a giant single reflective elements that would be prohibitively expensive and challenging to manufacture, these furnaces use a sprawling array of smaller reflectors each positioned at varying but specific angles to reflect their light onto a central tower. One by itself lens doesn’t produce much heat, but hundreds of them add up to generate temperatures as hot as 6,330 degrees Fahrenheit.
New Apple Research May Eliminate iPhones’ Camera Bump Forever
The lens of all the camera that researchers created is actually made up of innumerable very tiny microstructures, imperceptible to the human eye, and strategically positioned so that each one bends and redirects light towards a camera’s sensor. When all the camera lenses working together, they produce the same results as a single curved element does. Manufacturing the new lenses also required the team to develop a new fabrication process, a new element polymer, and custom algorithms to calculate the shape and position of each microstructure. But the resulting lens can be completely flat, and made of very lightweight plastic. If you’ve ever spent a day carrying around a camera with a big lens hanging off the front, you’ll really appreciate that benefit alone.
Are camera bumps becoming a symbol of photography prowess?
Not only could this new approach to imaging eliminate the camera bump, but it could also make entire smartphones completely thinner and smaller by freeing up even more room inside the housing, for both the device’s front and back cameras. It could also be improve the flight time of reconnaissance drones who wouldn’t have to carry heavy wide-angle or telescopic lenses on missions, and professional photographers might no longer have to haul around shooters that look like bazookas.
Now let’s find the researchers out there trying to figure out how to get rid of those hideous screen notches too.