Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

Computer monitors give us eye-popping displays in which the light areas look as much as 800 times lighter than the dark ones. But these images are born inside a computer; a cam-era gazing at a scene cannot capture contrast anywhere near that high. The reason: Light reflecting off the air-glass surfaces produces “lens flare.” As a result, whites don’t look as white as they do in reality; blacks don’t look as black.

Physicist Edward F. Kelley of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md., has come up with a novel way to rectify this shortcoming-by emulating Mother Nature. Our eyes don’t suffer from lens flare, Kelley says, because they are liquid-filled. His logical solution: inject oil into the space between a camera’s lens and the sensors that convert the image into an electronic signal. In preliminary work, addition of liquid to a camera hiked contrast-capturing capability seventyfold. While a consumer-grade eye-ball camera is possible, the technology will probably appear first in scientific instruments that need to detect contrast with high precision.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Web

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me