The advances that we have made in technology are downright extraordinary, as we continue to push forward we are managing to find ways of improving on existing technology and make it even better. The photography and videography industry has made leaps of advances in the past few decades; cameras have become more powerful, more versatile and now, smaller as well. We have had button sized cameras around for a while now, but we have not had a camera that is only a millimetre wide and has is powered by light.
This fascinating “camera” is basically a photovoltaic cell that creates a picture by recording the amount of light that hits each if its cells, this results in the generation of a picture. The sensor also stores energy that it receives from the light hitting it and provide itself with enough power to make the picture generation process possible. The reason behind why photovoltaic cells have not been used like this until now is the fact that photovoltaic cells can either store energy or measure light; they are not able to carry out both of these processes simultaneously.
Researchers found a solution to this problem by simply stacking these cells, Euisik Yoon and Sung-Yun Park made the discovery that photovoltaic cells are not entirely opaque and do allow light to pass through them. This led to them realizing that by stacking one cell on top of the other, both functions can be performed simultaneously. So far the images that this camera is capable of producing are quite mundane, but researchers are confident that they could significantly improve image quality by making a few tweaks here and there.
A millimetre sized camera sounds quite interesting, but it also leads to many people thinking of it as a potential tool used by spies and voyeurs, luckily this “camera” is only a camera in essence, it lacks many of the components needed to make it a proper image capturing device. Meaning that we can rest assured that no miniscule cameras will be spying on us any time soon.