The camera that sees round cornersComment on this story
London - It sounds like the sort of power a superhero might have. Now the ability to see round corners could soon be yours.
British scientists are creating a camera that can peer around angles without the aid of a mirror.
By taking pictures at the speed of light, it should be able to reveal hidden objects – from people, to parked cars, to tanks.
It could be used by the Army to distinguish friend from foe, by rescue teams searching for survivors in collapsed buildings or mines, or simply by motorists who struggle to reverse park. Inventor Jonathan Leach, of Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University, said: “It’s very James Bond, it’s very Superman.”
His invention bounces a laser off a wall on to the hidden object. Reflected light is then captured by a camera that is ten times more sensitive than the human eye and capable of taking 15 billion shots a second.
A computer then calculates the shape of the object based on the pattern of reflections and how long the light takes to reach the camera.
Dr Leach, who is showcasing the equipment at the Royal Society’s Summer Exhibition in London, said: “You can work out from the unique way that light bounces off walls and comes to our camera, if it was a car, if it was a human, if it was a dog.
“Those different objects interact differently with light in a way that our camera can detect.” - Daily Mail