By David Ponce
Every now and then, R&D departments spew out prototypes that look promising enough that we can imagine them making their way into finished products one day. Recently, Olympus has announced the development of an “Axial symmetrical free curved surface lens”. This lens is capable of gathering light from 360 degrees horizontally and 45 degrees vertically, and focusing it on a CCD without the use of other lenses. While only a prototype at the moment, possible uses for the lens include security cameras… and extreme sports.
Yeah, there are other 360 cameras on the market. But if our understanding is right, the innovation in this case is that the one lens does all the focusing, negating the need for extra lenses, and allowing the manufacturing of more compact devices. Of course, we’re gleaming this from a Spanish article, and a translated Japanese page. So if any Japanese native speakers can help us out, you’d enlighten a whole bunch in the process.