Camera Obscura Images Can be Collected From Any Windowed Room

The camera obscura has been around for a long time (Middle Ages long) and typically consisted of a box or room with a hole in one side through which an image of its surroundings could be formed. As you can see from the example above, any room -- in this case a bathroom -- can be turned into a camera obscura given a small enough "aperture." Unfortunately, most rooms have big, blaring windows that let in too much light, and the only image formed on the opposite wall is a shadowy blob.

In the name of forensics, however, Antonio Torralba and William Freeman from MIT have discovered a technique by which they can turn any windowed room into a camera obscura, using a couple of stills of the room to magically gather an image of the outside world.

EyeRing is a “Point and Shoot” Camera for the Visually Impaired

MIT's Media Lab is no stranger to innovation; from super-high-speed cameras to cameras that can see around walls, they always seem to be on the cutting edge of imaging innovation. Their newest project, the EyeRing, is yet another innovative idea that could some day revolutionize the way we take pictures and experience our world.

Long Exposure Light Painting, MIT-style

Here's a long exposure light painting tutorial by a couple MIT Media Lab students. In addition to teaching the basics of the technique, they also show off a robot arm that they programmed to do extremely precise light painting photos and animations.

MIT Camera Uses Echos of Light to See Around Corners

The "femtosecond transient imaging system" is a camera being developed by researchers at MIT that uses high intensity light from a femtosecond laser to capture images from around corners. Once the laser beam bounces around the scene and returns to the sensor, algorithms are used to turn the time and distance information into a representation of the scene.

A Day in the Life of the MIT Community

A Day in the Life of MIT (ADITL) is a neat project in which members of the MIT community take pictures on a particular day and then pool the photographs together to provide a snapshot of what life was like on that day. ADITL 2010 happened yesterday, and hundreds of people contributed images to the collection.

MIT Scientists Stuff Barcodes into Bokeh

Barcodes can be found everywhere, but using existing barcode systems with ordinary cameras require that the barodes be printed large or that the camera be placed close to the code. MIT's Bokode project is a new system that magically stuffs barcodes into bokeh, allowing ordinary cameras to be used as barcode readers from a distance. The codes are contained in little points of light that only turn into codes when viewed through an out-of-focus camera lens. You've probably seen how little bright points of light grow into larger and fainter points of light when you defocus.