Introducing lens technology that allows you to focus on subjects 3 cm and 1.7 km away at the same time, with the eyes of trilobites as a hint.

With a general camera, it is difficult to take a clear picture of a near subject and a distant subject at the same time due to its structure. The

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has newly developed a lens technology that can simultaneously focus on the range of 3 cm to 1.7 km by referring to the eyes of trilobites that became extinct hundreds of millions of years ago.

Trilobite-inspired neural nanophotonic light-field camera with extreme depth-of-field | Nature Communications

Inspired by Prehistoric Creatures, NIST Researchers Make Record-Setting Lenses | NIST

There is a concept called depth of field in photography, and the out-of-focus part is out of focus. By adjusting the aperture value of the lens to deepen the depth of field, you can create a state ( pan focus ) that 'focuses from a few meters to infinity', but at the same time at a close distance of 'several cm' and infinity. It is difficult to focus.

The eyes of the trilobite, an organism that was extinct hundreds of millions of years ago, have a structure in which multiple small eyes are gathered, and it is thought that it was possible to clearly see objects at close range and far away at the same time. Taking the structure of the trilobite eye as a hint, the NIST research team worked on the development of a lens that can simultaneously focus at a close distance of several centimeters and at infinity.

The research team built a 'metal lens' by arranging millions of columns of titanium dioxide shaped to bend light in a specific direction ...

By incorporating a metal lens between a normal glass lens and the sensor, we succeeded in focusing on both close range (3 cm) and long distance (1.7 km).

In addition, the research team used AI to build a system that can focus on subjects located between close range and long range. Below are the photos actually taken with the completed system. The piece of glass marked 'NJU' in the upper right is located at a distance of 3 cm from the tip of the lens (it is said that the position has been shifted by image editing to make it easier to see), and the ruler is located at 35 cm. In addition, the building in the upper part is located 1.7km. All subjects are in focus from close range to long distance, and the perspective is likely to go wrong.

The research team states that the technology developed may be used in fields that require a deep depth of field, such as microscopes.

in Hardware,   Science, Posted by log1o_hf