The use of flexible light sensors has allowed scientists in the United States to create a camera that takes its inspiration from the human eye.
A team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University have developed a camera that combines the simple lens of the human eye and photodetectors.
Noting that both the lens and such light sensors are on flexible substrates, the team were able to use a hydraulic system in order to give the eye-like camera a variable zoom.
Dubbed the 'eyeball camera', the product's 3.5x optical zoom allows it to focus on objects at a distance - much in the same way as a single-lens reflex digital camera - setting it apart from the human organ it was inspired by.
It is thought that the light sensor-featuring camera can be used in a range of applications, including endoscopic imaging and night-vision surveillance.
"Our goal was to develop something simple that can zoom and capture good images - and we've achieved that," Yonggang Huang, professor of civil and environmental engineering and mechanical engineering at Northwestern University, states.
Founded in 1851, Northwestern consists of 12 schools and colleges including the Robert R McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, which was created in 1909.