Camera sees around corners using lasers and math

Let’s say you’re walking through your office, desperately trying to hide from your boss, who wants those TPS reports you haven’t had a chance to put cover sheets on yet. You reach a corner, where your boss might lurk, waiting to pounce on you. What if you could somehow see around that corner without having to look, giving you an opportunity to give your boss the slip? In the future, you can, if the camera invented by scientists at the University of Bonn and the University of Vancouver, hits the market. This new camera can let you see around corners, without the use of mirrors, giving you a heads-up about what lies in wait for you there.

The camera works by shining a laser on a wall, and then watching how the light from that laser is diffused. This, in essence, turns the wall into a mirror, thanks to the ability of the camera to add up all the laser's reflected light. The camera measures these reflections, and uses them to reconstruct the scene of the light bouncing off the wall. A computer program with an advanced mathematical algorithm turns that information into an image that you can recognize, basically letting you see around the corner.

Unfortunately, this new camera still has limits to its abilities. Presently, the resulting image only comes back to the camera as rough outlines. However, advancements in both technology and mathematical algorithms might soon allow for a camera that can take an actual photo or video around a corner with a resolution as high as a standard camera.

Via University of Bonn

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