Most folks think of a photo as a two-dimensional representation of a scene. Stanford University researchers, however, have created an image sensor that also can judge the distance of subjects within a snapshot.
To accomplish the feat, Keith Fife and his colleagues have developed technology called a multi-aperture image sensor that sees things differently than the light detectors used in ordinary digital cameras.
Instead of devoting the entire sensor for one big representation of the image, Fife's 3-megapixel sensor prototype breaks the scene up into many small, slightly overlapping 16x16-pixel patches called subarrays. Each subarray has its own lens … Read more