Researchers develop camera that can see around corners


Researchers from the University of Bonn and the University of British Columbia have developed a camera that can see around corners. This unique camera system is not unlike the one created by MIT a few years ago.

These cameras work by shining pulses of light, or a laser, against the surface of an angled wall or door that reaches an individual or object standing nearby. The laser or pulses of light then reflect off the individual or object creating a scatter of light that also bounces off the source of the angled surface, which in turn falls back on the camera’s lens.

Our camera, combined with a mathematical procedure, enables us to virtually transform [any]wall into a mirror,” says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias B. Hullin from the Institute of Computer Science II at the University of Bonn.

An algorithm then measures  the scattered light that has fallen back on the camera to reconstruct the hidden individual or object.

We are recording a kind of light echo, that is, time-resolved data, from which we can reconstruct the object,” states the Bonn researcher. “Part of the light has also come into contact with the unknown object and it thus brings valuable information with it about its shape and appearance.”

Here’s a video sourced from MIT, and made by Nature Communications, showing how such a camera works.

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Kristian strives to enlighten and entertain readers. In addition to his teaching and editorial responsibilities, he is working on a science-fiction novel that promises not to include exoskeleton suits and anemic aliens floating in mysterious vats of green-tinted goop.

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