Cameras, microscopes and imaging
* “Foldscope: A Paper Microscope You Can Attach to Your Smartphone”: Origami-inspired microscopes cheap enough for every student, for IEEE Spectrum online, Oct. 23, 2018.
* “This Lens-less Camera Is Built Specially for AI and Computer Vision Programs”: Engineers have developed a "see-through" camera from a pane of glass, a photodetector, and some really clever software - for IEEE Spectrum online, Aug. 29, 2018
* New Path to Better X-ray Breast Cancer Imaging - on new developments in phase contrast x-ray imaging for IEEE Spectrum on May 21, 2014
A new X-ray-generating chip will reduce the radiation from medical imaging
Enter a technique called X-ray phase-contrast imaging (XPCI), in which instead of measuring the X-ray’s intensity, you measure the change in an X-ray’s phase. X-rays move slower when they pass through muscle mass than through blood, for instance. So a chest X-ray wave front that passes through a lung sac (mostly air and blood vessels) will arrive sooner than a wave front that passes through the heart.
XPCI can therefore image not just bones and cartilage but also internal organs, internal bleeding, tumors, and plenty more. Moreover, XPCI involves no toxic contrast agents and a substantially lower X-ray dosage.
* Launching a new consumer electronics category is a risky business, and it doesn't help when it's squeezed into the no-man's-land between two other categories. Tablet computers, for example, are awkwardly situated north of smartphones in size and south of notebooks in performance.
With November's launch of the Olympus E-P2, the population of the no-man's-land between the top end of point-and-shooters and the low end of digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras reached five models. But there's little indication that the public understands the new category any better than it did in August 2008, when Panasonic and Olympus launched their first Micro Four Thirds cameras.
An article for the April 2010 issue of IEEE Spectrum.
(lens-less camera image by Dan Hixson, University of Utah College of Engineering; cc image, “Cameras,” by Crusty Da Clown)