Hitachi leads the field in lenseless camera technology


Japanese multinational Hitachi has a reputation around the world for cutting edge technology. In the field of camera, Hitachi has a new feat.

It has developed a technology that can capture video images without the need for lens. To achieve the result, Hitachi uses a thin film with a concentric-circle pattern instead of a lens. This makes the cameras lighter and thinner than conventional units.

The company is proud this technology can be used in cars for autonomous driving, mobile devices and even robots. The camera can be freely mounted in devices without any design restraints.

Processing of images captured by the camera incurs a heavy computational load, to solve this, Hitachi has developed a technology based on the principle of Moiré fringes.

“A film patterned with concentric circles is positioned in front of an image sensor, and the image of a shadow formed by a light beam irradiated onto the film is captured by the image sensor. During the image processing, a similar concentric-circle pattern is superimposed on the shadow and Moiré fringes,” Hitachi explains.

It also said the focal position can be changed by changing the size of the concentric-circle pattern superimposed on the shadow formed on the image sensor.

An experiment confirmed that video images could be captured at 30 frames per second. Hitachi said it is aiming to apply this newly developed lensless camera technology to all kinds of Internet of Things devices. It could commercialize the technology around 2018.


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