The angular capabilities of photography have taken a giant leap forward thanks to a new camera that could potentially fit on any surface.
According to Mashable, a team from Columbia University's Computer Vision Laboratory created a prototype for a flexible “sheet camera” that could wrap around objects and produce 360-degree angle photos and videos.
The prototype camera is a large piece of silicone rubber with a plastic sheet of apertures that zooms in and out when bent. The prototype is large, but could potentially be the size of a credit card. Additional future variations could allow the camera to wrap around a lamp post or even an entire car, granting the driver a 360-degree view of the road without blind spots.
The team initially attached lenses to individual, pixel-sized sensors, but blank spots would appear between sensors when the camera was bent. The researchers found success by embedding lenses into flexible silicon sheets. In this arrangement, the lenses change focal length upon bending, which eliminates blank spots at even the most extreme angles, Engadget reports.
The resolution on the current prototype is very low, but the team is looking to develop a high-resolution lens arrangement along with a large-format image sensor in order to create high-quality images from every angle.
It isn't clear how much it costs to make the camera, but once the price gets relatively low, models could potentially be churned out like sheets of plastic.
Find out more in the video below.