Rethinking Time and Space Can Lead to Smaller Camera Lenses

The MIT Media Lab Camera Culture group is working on ways to increase the speed of camera lenses while decreasing their size.
Jessica Miley

Researchers at the MIT Media Lab Camera Culture group are researching new ways to utilize time and space to shrink camera lenses down while adding new functions such as selective zoom range and enhanced spectral resolution. Camera Culture group ‘focuses on making the invisible visible–inside our bodies, around us, and beyond–for health, work, and connection.

The goal is to create an entirely new class of imaging platforms that have an 'understanding of the world that far exceeds human ability and produce meaningful abstractions that are well within human comprehensibility.' The multidisciplinary group researches everything from modern optics, sensors, illumination, actuators, probes and software processing.

They complete projects that include creating feature-revealing computational cameras for developing lightweight medical imaging mechanisms. Their previous work has also included facilitating positive social impact via the next billion personalized cameras.

Dr. Barmak Heshmat is a post-doctoral staff member of the group. He is both a researcher and a futurist who works on exotic electrical and optical materials, devices, and systems. His work also focuses on improving humans sensory and presence limitations.

In 2016, members of the lab were awarded the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Prize which honors mid-career inventors dedicated to improving our world through technological innovation. The team won for their work that included creating low-cost eye-care solutions for the developing world.