A camera you can fold, bend, see-through and potentially throw away when you're done has been showcased by researchers.
The Optics Express sensor looks like something from a CGI movie, but its inventors say it's a very real new direction for imaging design.
The team from University Linz in Austria say that their polymer sheet is cheap and pliable, and able to a capture images.
According to Phys.Org, the sheet uses fluorescent particles to capture light and channel some of it to sensors on the frame of the "luminescent concentrator" sheet. The team is able to tell where a light particle hit the sheet by its brightness once it reaches the sensor on the edge of the sheet.
There are no electronics or other components, and means that the camera could respond to gestures without a user even touching the surface.
Its use in actual products is obviously a distant prospect, but potential applications could include overlaying screens with the sheet so that a gesture-based OS could do away with an image-tracking camera.
They are also considering whether it could be used with normal CCD sensors to capture brighter, higher-resolution images.
"Combining both would give us a high-resolution image with less overexposed or underexposed regions if scenes with a high dynamic range or contrast are captured," said Oliver Bimber, one of the researchers.
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