Lens-Less Cameras Are Now A Thing

Cameras have evolved so much over the past few years. They began with the throwaway cameras you would take on field trips with you to capture 40 different moments, then they became digital with you buying a small block of metal and watching the screen light up as the lens zoomed out the body to focus. Now you don’t even use need to buy a camera,  they are built-in every smartphone and even pens and watches. The traditional drawback to these devices is the lenses that are used to focus on an image, but no more.

A professor of computer and electrical engineering at Rice University in Texas, Richard Baraniuk, believes that lenses are the only thing holding back cameras. To combat this, his team has developed a design based on a pinhole camera. The difficulty of pinhole cameras is they don’t allow for a lot of light, the solution to this problem appeared to be quite simple. Don’t use just one pinhole camera, use thousands.

The problem with a thousand different cameras, is a thousand different images are hard to use. So with a little modern logic, it’s not possible to produce a camera that is not only without a traditional lens but also slim and almost hidden.

Students Create Physical Feedback Glove for Virtual Reality

There is no doubt that in the past few years the virtual reality market has grown exponentially, with kits such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive looking to be released in the very near future, the new future of gaming is now nearly upon us. But one thing that was always lacking from the VR dream was physical feedback, being able to see what you were touching but not actually feeling it. Well now a team of students from Rice University have created the Hands Omni, a glove that provides physical feedback to actions committed in a virtual environment and it looking very promising, even in its very bare-bones state.

The glove, which had its development sponsored by Virtuix, a works by inflating and deflating small airbags under the fingers, providing the pressure you’d normally encounter in the real world at some level. The glove also recently won the “People’s Choice” award at Rice’s own Engineering Design Showcase.

Designed to be as unnoticeable to the user as possible, the glove uses a wireless system to give you all the freedom of movement you need, which is quite an issue with current VR systems such as the Oculus, as you are limited in the confines of the cable. The glove also only weighs an impressive 350 grams meaning that you will hardly even notice it, which is pretty handy for not breaking the illusion of virtual reality.

If such a product will soon become readily available for mass production, then we could see virtual reality get a whole lot more physical.

Thank you to phys.org for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Oculus.