You could be taking color pictures in the dark by the end of the year

Mar 07, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog
Video screenshot. Credit: AIST

(PhysOrg.com) -- Any photographer will tell you that having good lighting is essential to the success of a shot. It is one of the most basic elements of composition, and hours can be spent on getting this one element right. Unless, that is, you buy your camera from The Nanosystem Research Division of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan, or AIST for short. They are showing off a camera that can take full color photos in the dark.

Night vision technology itself is nothing new. Anyone who has seen a James Bond movie is familiar with the black and green screen that is synonymous with the see-in-the-dark technology that is used by branches of the military around the world. What is new with this camera is the fact that the night vision will create a image similar to the ones you take on a standard during the day. It is also capable of taking color video.

The camera works something like this. After taking a scan of the room it uses a highly sensitive infrared technology to capture the surroundings and get a digital lay of the land. Once it has the image an advanced takes over the photo process. By analyzing the reflected wavelengths from objects of various colors, the camera takes a best guess at what color the item is, and fills that color into the image. The system seems to have a high degree of accuracy, but some minor issues with shade could occur.

The is expected to go on sale to the public by the end of 2011. No word has been give on price at this point, as the device still needs to be made small enough for hand use.

Explore further: Skin icons can tap into promise of smartwatch

Related Stories

Apple Updates iPod photo Lineup

Feb 23, 2005

Apple® today updated its iPod® photo lineup by introducing a new slim 30GB model, holding up to 7,500 songs, for just $349 and a new 60GB model, holding up to 15,000 songs, for $449. Designed to take your ...

High-resolution images from the driver’s seat

Feb 01, 2007

A novel miniature camera allows viewers to enjoy a new live experi-ence and watch a ski jump or a car race in high resolution from the actor’s perspective. The camera is so tiny that it even fits inside the ...

LG Electronics Introduces LG Viewty Mobile Phone

Oct 15, 2007

LG Electronics, a worldwide technology leader in mobile communications, introduced its new LG Viewty, LG-KU990 mobile phone with advanced digital camera features and the ability to record video at up to 120 ...

Recommended for you

Apple issues security warning for iCloud

2 hours ago

Apple has posted a new security warning for users of its iCloud online storage service amid reports of a concerted effort to steal passwords and other data from people who use the popular service in China.

Review: Better cameras, less glare in iPad Air 2

2 hours ago

If I've seen you taking photos with a tablet computer, I've probably made fun of you (though maybe not to your face, depending on how big you are). I'm old school: I much prefer looking through the viewfinder ...

Apple sees iCloud attacks; China hack reported

13 hours ago

Apple said Tuesday its iCloud server has been the target of "intermittent" attacks, hours after a security blog said Chinese authorities had been trying to hack into the system.

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

soulman
2 / 5 (4) Mar 07, 2011
The camera works something like this. After taking a scan of the room it uses a highly sensitive infrared technology to capture the surroundings and get a digital lay of the land.

Does that mean it needs to first take visible light shot so that it can later map IR -> color? If so, then I see that as quite a limitation.
ODesign
not rated yet Mar 07, 2011
So this isn't a more sensitive CCD that can gather the scarce photons more efficiently? It sounds like it doesn't change the size of the lense required for a good lighting, it's more about an extreme compensation for a white balance. Still pretty cool, but it would be more cool if it were combined with the tech for focus free and small aperature light gathering.
antialias
not rated yet Mar 08, 2011
Does that mean it needs to first take visible light shot so that it can later map IR -> color?

Not quite. Different colored objects give off different amounts of IR under ambient temperature. So the camera does not need to have previous knowledge ofthe color of stuff in the room.

You can probably throw it off by having objects at different temperatures or, as the article says, by having areas of shade (which will occur naturally due to the directional nature of the IR source.
LivaN
not rated yet Mar 08, 2011
The camera works something like this. After taking a scan of the room it uses a highly sensitive infrared technology to capture the surroundings and get a digital lay of the land.

Does that mean it needs to first take visible light shot so that it can later map IR -> color? If so, then I see that as quite a limitation.


I believe it takes a scan of the area, while still dark, and then uses its algorithm to apply the most probable colour. No need view the area lit, unless you would want to compare images. Im sure once a correlation has been drawn between IR wavelengths of specifically coloured objects in the dark and their visible wavelengths while lit, it would be easy to create an advanced algorithm to then simply apply a filter to any IR image, and convert it its approximate visible colours.
Nikola
1 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2011
Meh.
Also: sort of misleading headline