Fraunhofer researchers have developed a process enabling a two millimeter flat 1MP camera. Similar to the eyes of insects, its lens is partitioned into 135 tiny facets. The researchers have named their mini-camera concept facetVISION. The cameras are said to be suitable for use in the automotive and printing industries and in medical engineering. Their basic principle is said to be able to change the design of future smartphones.
"With a camera thickness of only two millimeters, this technology, taken from nature’s model, will enable us to achieve a resolution of up to four megapixel", says Andreas Brückner, project manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena. "This is clearly a higher resolution compared to cameras in industrial applications – for example in robot technology or automobile production."
"It will be possible to place several smaller lenses next to each other in the smartphone camera. The combination of facet effect and proven injection molded lenses will enable resolutions of more than 10 megapixels in a camera requiring just a thickness of around three and a half millimeters," adds Brückner.
Update: As mentioned in comments, Fraunhofer has opened www.facetvision.de web site devoted to the project and its applications. LaserFocusWorld published an expanded article on the new camera and its future developments.