It looks like university efforts to create a curved sensor (work #1, work #2) have moved into commercial phase. According to Xconomy report, Cambridge, MA-based start-up MC10 develops a sensor that is curved, like the human retina. That shape is said to be the most compact and efficient way to achieve a wide field of view with just one focusing lens.
The MC10 bendy image sensor and optical system could be much smaller than existing ones, so camera phones could be made even thinner, and satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles made lighter for surveillance and reconnaissance purposes. The three-year-old MC10 has just completed $12.5M venture round B. The optical market has “billion-dollar-plus potential over time,” CEO Dave Icke said in an interview to Xconomy last month.