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Duke scientists working on gigapixel super-camera

Posted June 27, 2012

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— How good is your digital camera – 10 megapixels? Twelve? Eighteen?

How about 1,000 megapixels – or a gigapixel?

That's how much data the DARPA Aware 2 – a new super-powered camera under development at Duke University – can handle.

The technology, funded by a federal defense grant and developed in partnership with scientists at the University of Arizona and the University of California at San Diego, uses 98 tiny digital cameras in a single device to capture one image with a spherical lens.

The prototype camera's resolution is 10 times better than 20/20 vision and up to 100 times better than a photo taken with a normal digital camera.

It has the potential to capture up to 50 gigapixels, or 50,000 megapixels, of data. Most cameras are capable of taking photos with sizes ranging from 8 to 40 megapixels.

The biggest challenge for the scientists working on the project, team leader David Brady says, is making the camera smaller and user friendly.

Currently, it is 2.5 square feet and 20 inches deep. Electronics and processors to put together the final image make up 97 percent of the components.

The next generation of this camera is expected to be four times smaller.

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  • WooHoo2You Jun 27, 2012

    Great..So in 10 years when it comes out,and we all have $5,000 to get it,it will change everything...Wait..the Defence department is in on this..Oh well,it won't be for public use,sorry.- Uhavenoclu

    Guess you don't use GPS, cell phones, the microprocessor, etc...they were all developed by the DOD.

  • Uhavenoclu Jun 27, 2012

    Great..So in 10 years when it comes out,and we all have $5,000 to get it,it will change everything...Wait..the Defence department is in on this..Oh well,it won't be for public use,sorry.
    By the time it goes out best buy will be out of business,and apple will have gone down since the name is all it is,and droid is better.
    Wednesday night fantasy night with this story huh?

  • WooHoo2You Jun 27, 2012

    Amazing. Maybe these are the cameras that need to go in banks to ID robbers.- slayerhil

    Its amazing that someone will get away with 50 grand and the best photo the bank can give police and the public is taken from a 20 year old analog camera that might go for 5 bucks on ebay.

  • Scubagirl Jun 27, 2012

    pretty impressive but it begs the question.....if this camera can take better pics than someone with 20/20 vision can see, how will anyone be able to tell the difference?????

    Does that seem odd to anyone else?

  • 37 Jun 27, 2012

    Then they can use Instagram to ruin the shot.

  • slayerhil Jun 27, 2012

    Amazing. Maybe these are the cameras that need to go in banks to ID robbers.

  • abbynork Jun 27, 2012

    Wow, how very last week...