Metalenz, known for its flat lenses that work through optical metasurfaces, has just announced PolarEyes. This smartphone module will be able to capture polarized light.
In early 2021, the startup Metalenz announced a revolutionary product: a lens created with. Rather than stacking several curved to allow a camera to obtain a good image quality, a single flat lens is enough. On this lens are nanostructures in which bend the rays of light.
Polarized light to improve facial recognition
The polarization ofallows you to learn much more information about the surface of objects and their composition. Such in a car would, for example, make it possible to detect the . In one , polarized light would improve the . It is not possible to deceive her with a printed photo or a mask of the person’s face. Conversely, the works perfectly while wearing a surgical mask.
PolarEyes could also be used forby detecting more information about scanned objects and would even diagnose the with just a smartphone. The current prototype, although 88 times smaller than a conventional device, is still too big. However, the firm hopes to have a product 60 times smaller in six months so that it can be integrated into a smartphone.
Smartphone: a revolutionary flat lens in preparation
For ten years, Harvard researchers have been working on a flat and unique lens capable of correcting the effects of distortion, but also of recording sharp and perfect images. Today acomes to the end of his project, and the first should appear on smartphones by the end of the year.
Article by Fabrice Auclert, published on 08/02/2021
Smartphone manufacturers may innovate every year, but one element has not changed for almost 15 years: the photo sensor. Whether it’s, Samsung or Huawei, we rely on classic lenses, with a system of superimposed lenses, and the only changes concern the multiplication of sensors, and their power increased from two million pixels to… 108 million!
« Smartphone optics today consist of four to seven lenses, reminds Oliver Schindelbeck, head of innovation at Zeiss, a reference in optics, to our colleagues at . If you have a single lens element, just by the , you will have such as distortion or dispersion in the image. But 2021 could mark real change, and that’s the start-up who decided to “revolutionize” the market of photo sensors for smartphones.
Nanostructures correct deformations
Born from research at Harvard, the proprietary technology is based on “optical metasurfaces”, and rather than stacking lenses, one is enough! So how does the start-up Metalenz manage to avoid this problem? Instead of using contact lensesand glass stacked on an image sensor, this company uses a single lens built on a slice of glass with a size between 1 x 1 and 3 x 3 millimeters. Under the microscope, we can see silicon nanostructures a thousand times smaller than a human hair. These nanostructures bend light rays in ways that correct many shortcomings of single-lens camera systems.
Light passes through these patterned nanostructures, similar to millions of circles with different diameters at the microscopic level. ” Just like a curved lens speeds up and slows down light to bend it, each of them allows us to do the same thing, so we can bend and shape light just by changing the diameters of those circles says co-founder and CEO Robert Devlin.
One of the strong points of this technology is the possibility of producing it on a large scale extremely quickly, like any electronic component. To obtain a fairly accurate French translation, click on the white rectangle at the bottom right. The English subtitles should then appear. Then click on the nut to the right of the rectangle, then on “Subtitles” and finally on “Translate automatically”. Choose “French” © Metalenz, YouTube
Soon to be used for facial recognition
As a result, the image quality is just as sharp as with a multi-sensor system, and the nanostructures take care of reducing or eliminating many image degradations such as distorted straight lines, orless faithful on the edges. In addition to saving space inside the smartphone, this system allows more light to be absorbed for brighter and sharper photos.
In practice, Metalenz announces a start of production for the end of the year with the project of a, useful for facial recognition. It would therefore be a selfie sensor, and the manufacturer promises a less power-hungry component. , but also more discreet on the front. Ultimately, Metalenz is also targeting the health sector, but also manufacturers and astronomical lenses.