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Japan's Hitachi develops lensless camera technology

Updated: 11 16 , 2016 15:16
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TOKYO, Nov. 15 -- Japanese multinational conglomerate company Hitachi Ltd. announced Tuesday the development of a camera technology that can capture video images without using a lens, the first of this kind in Japan.

"This camera technology makes it possible to make a camera lighter and thinner since a lens is unnecessary," said the Tokyo-based company.

The new technology also "allow the camera to be more freely mounted in devices such as mobile devices and robots at arbitrary positions without imposing design restraints," said the company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The technology can adjust focus after image capture by using a film imprinted with a concentric-circle pattern instead of a lens, said Hitachi, aiming to commercialize it around 2018.

"Moreover, since it acquires depth information in addition to planar information, it is possible to reproduce an image at an arbitrary point of focus even after the image has been captured," it said.

Focus can be adjusted anytime to objects requiring attention, so Hitachi is aiming to utilize this technology in a broad range of applications such as work support, automated driving, and human-behavior analysis with mobile devices, vehicles and robots.

The company's consolidated revenues for fiscal 2015 (April 1, 2015-March 31, 2016) totaled 10,034.3 billion yen (about 88.8 billion U.S. dollars).

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