Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Panopticon is Among Us

via heliocentra tumblr

Ultra tiny camera has no lens – uses algorithm to develop pictures
Mar 28, 2014, 

An extremely tiny lensless camera, developed by Rambus, has been slowly making waves over the past year. Researchers for the company, David Stork and Patrick Gill won a Best Paper award at last year's Sencomm 2013 for describing what the company has created. They spoke again at last month's Mobile World Congress, describing their new type of camera—one that might someday soon be used to give virtually any digital device, some degree of vision.

Instead of a lens, a pattern is etched into the glass above the chip—the imager reads the light that is received, processes it using an algorithm developed by Rambus and converts it into a recognizable image. What's amazing is that the etched pattern on the glass and the chip are both roughly the size of a period at the end of a sentence.

Particular etched patterns allow for light to be intentionally refracted in different ways as it passes through the glass—images made from them would appear unrecognizable to the human eye, but the algorithm makes use of refraction properties to reconstruct the light received into a recognizable image.

Trying to grind ever smaller lenses has reached its limits, thus something new had be developed.

Making a camera so tiny opens the door for its use in a whole host of new applications, allowing them to become aware of their physical surroundings, all at a very low cost—perhaps just pennies per chip—that means they could be embedded in clothes, toys, mirrors, security systems, etc., bounded only by the imagination of device makers. On the other hand, such tiny cameras could also open a Pandora's box if they are used to invade privacy or for control purposes.

More information: Lensless Ultra-Miniature CMOS Computational Imagers and Sensors
PDF paper
PDF presentation

New surveillance technology can track everyone in an area for several hours at a time
Craig Timberg, Washington Post, 5 Feb 2014

Maurizio Galimberti_photographer

[This system, stationed miles above an area, can watch many square miles, for hours at a time, where 'targets' are single blips on the area below, being followed for the duration of time. All data can be stored indefinitely.]

Now You Can See Which Websites Are Tracking You in Real-Time
vice, 25 Nov 2013

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