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Lenses

— Good Thinking

Hi-tech glasses aim to assist the blind with directions and obstacle detection

Researchers from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) in Mexico have developed a pair of glasses that use a combination of ultrasound, GPS, stereoscopic vision and artificial intelligence to help the visually impaired to navigate their environment. The device, perhaps the most sophisticated of its kind, is slated to reach mass production early next year and will likely cost up to US$1,500. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Dual-lens camera promises better smartphone photos

Although people may speak about zooming in with smartphone cameras, what they're doing isn't actual "zooming" in the telephoto-lens sense of the word. That's because almost all phone cameras just have a digital zoom, meaning that in order to get in closer on the subject, the phone just enlarges the pixels from the middle of the frame. The result is a grainy, crappy photo. While it is possible to squeeze optical zoom lenses into phones, Tel Aviv University spinoff company Corephotonics has developed a sleeker solution, that utilizes the combined output of two compact lenses. Read More
— Science

How do you make a 1-cent microscope lens? Just bake a batch in the oven

Microscope lenses are typically made either by grinding and polishing glass discs, or pouring polymers into molds – both techniques can be quite involved, which is reflected in the price of the finished product. Now, however, a scientist from Australian National University has devised a new lens-making process, in which drops of silicone are simply baked in an oven. The resulting lenses can be used for a variety of applications, yet are worth less than one cent each. Read More
— Electronics

BAE Systems develops a flat lens that acts like it's curved

Anyone who’s ever needed a pair of thick eyeglasses has a firm idea that lenses are the one thing where form follows function. However, BAE Systems and Queen Mary’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science in London have put paid to that idea with a flat lens that works like a conventional curved lens, yet without any reduction in bandwidth performance. Using a combination of composite metamaterials and transformational optics for the first time, they have created a lens that's able to bend electromagnetic waves, yet isn't bound by its shape for its function. Read More
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