An ultra-thin camera that does not need to focus

An ultra-thin camera has appeared that does not need to focus. This technology will improve cameras for smartphones and medical devices.

Using a lens with a thickness of about one thousandth of a centimeter, the researchers created a camera that does not require focusing. This technology will work better than traditional cameras that are used on most smartphones.

“Our lenses can significantly reduce the weight, complexity of the device, the cost of cameras and other image processing systems, while increasing their functionality”, said research team leader Rajesh Menon of the University of Utah. “This technology will allow the use of thinner cameras for smartphones, improved and compact cameras for biomedical images”.

In Optica, the journal of the Optical Society (OSA) devoted to such studies, Menon and his colleagues describe a new flat lens and explain that it is able to maintain focus for objects located at a distance of about 6 m from each other. Flat lenses use nanostructures patterned on a flat surface, rather than bulky glass or plastic, which makes it possible to achieve important optical properties that control the passage of light.

Researchers say that the approach they used could be improved to create optical components with any number of additional properties.

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