A PROTOTYPE CAMERA capable of capturing images with two gigapixels resolution has been developed by US researchers.
According to the Duke Imaging and Spectroscopy Programme (DISP) team at Duke University in North Carolina, the prototype camera dubbed AWARE2 takes highly-detailed photographs at 2,000 megapixel density - 250 times the resolution of a common 8MP camera.
The design works by synchronizing 98 tiny cameras, or "micro-optics", in a single device, each of which operates independently to cover a 120x40 degree field of view (FOV).
The camera also includes a direct HDMI link control module for 10fps HD video, but looking at its size (750x750x50mm) it's not exactly something you'd want to take with you on your holidays.
On the university's project web page, the team says the camera's deployment is "envisioned for military, commercial, and civilian applications". Perhaps these cameras will be installed by Apple for its rumoured spy planes?
Despite the high pixel density, the AWARE team said that two gigapixels isn't as far as it can go and that a 5-10 gigapixel camera is in the works and will be online later in 2012.
"FOV is also strictly a matter of adding more cameras, with no change in the objective lens or micro-optic design," said DISP. "Through the use of mononcentric optical designs and using microcameras as a general optical processing unit, we are developing designs that scale from one gigapixel to 40 gigapixels and greater." µ