EyeBall: Omni-Directional Smart Eye Sensor Update

Update Apr-26-2004: O.D.F. Optronics has created a small spherical sensor called the EyeBall that can transmit a 360 degree "omni-directional" image and can hear everything within a twenty-five meter area. What would you see if you tossed an EyeBall sensor into a group of aliens? See the description below.


(From Gizmodo)

This tennis ball-sized remote is encased in three layers of rubber for durability; it is capable of generating and transmitting a 360 degree image. It also has built-in communication capabilities.

The 360 degree image is created in real time from the set of special lenses in the EyeBall:

As opposed to standard optical lenses which provide coverage of a field of view limited in width, the omni-directional optical lenses developed by the company cover a panoramic (full cylindrical scene) or a nearly spherical scene. The capture of the omni-directional scene is performed simultaneously, without any need for rotating the imaging device, or taking several separate shots to form the omni-directional image...
The technology has been applied in several of the company's products and enables real time observation of omni-directional scenes in both day light as well as complete darkness.
(From O.D.F. Optronics)

SF fans may recall Robert Silverberg's excellent 1969 novel Man in the Maze; an intelligent alien life form was discovered on a planet covered with an impenetrable fog, rendering useless the usual methods of orbital surveillance. Humans dropped thousands of small recording eyes at random over the surface of the planet; the devices could record and transmit what they saw - here's a sample description of a recording.

...three alien figures came strolling through the somber grove. They were elongated, almost spidery... One of them paused, bent peered closely at the ground. It scooped up the eye that had been witnessing its activities. The image grew chaotic; Muller guessed that the eye was being passed from hand to hand..." (More)

See also Are You Ready For Some Spyball? and the O.D.F. Optronics website.

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