Trillian FPS Camera Capturing Video at the Speed of Light

  • December 16, 2011
  • Tech
  • Comments Off on Trillian FPS Camera Capturing Video at the Speed of Light

Trillian FPS Camera Capturing Video at the Speed of Light

Most consumer cameras have settings that allow them to take several pictures in a row. A good DSLR will give you the opportunity to take perhaps 5 shots inside of a single second. This can be quite useful to capture an animal in movement, or a fast moving car. There’s even cameras out there that can capture a thousand shots in a single second, and they are used to capture some spectacular shots, like a bullet moving through the air. But now, researchers at MIT created a brand new camera called the Trillian FPS Camera, that can take over a trillion images per second, and capture shots at the speed of light.

First, this isn’t your typical consumer camera. The device is still very much a development system, and requires a specific setup. The camera itself is also more than just a normal camera, it’s a large box that contains hundreds of sensors, all taking shots, with a computer alternating the shots so that they take a trillion images every second. Also, right now this camera can only take pictures in one dimension, which means you need a set of mirrors to rotate the angle used, so that you can get a two dimensional image. All this means you’re not likely to get this technology in your personal camera any time soon, and right now the price would make it prohibitive anyways. It’s a device still confined to the labs, for all intent purposes. Still, that doesn’t mean there isn’t uses for it. Thanks to this setup, shots can now be seen at the speed of light, which means you can actually see light photons travel through the air, something never seen before.

As the shots are taken, the scientists show off a beam of light, from a highly precise laser, illuminating a scene. You’re now able to see the light hit each object in the scene, and see how it gets scattered and absorbed by the various surfaces. This brings a lot of possibilities in many fields. For example, industrial designers could use such a camera to see how their materials react, and if there’s any defect in their construction, based on how the light acts. Also, this may make light imaging possible in medical fields, in places where we currently use x-rays, because now simple light photons can be seen travelling through space. There’s a lot of different uses that can be seen for the Trillian FPS Camera, although for now they are mostly in the scientific and industrial domains. The scientists say they envision a time when normal cameras may get such a technology, but it’s likely to be a while still.

It’s unclear how expensive the Trillian FPS Camera would be, simply because it’s not for sale. It’s still a development device, and still being perfected by the engineers at MIT. Still, it’s a very interesting breakthrough in technology, and something camera lovers would be very interested in getting one day.

Watch this video of camera capturing light going through a soda bottle. Pretty awesome!

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