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Perpetual Photography Machine: A 30 x 40 array of pixels acts as both an image collector and a photovoltaic power source.

Computer scientists at  Columbia University have made a video camera that can power itself. The rudimentary camera can capture an image every second of a well-lit scene while converting light into electric power.

The device is a step towards tiny, low-cost standalone cameras that could be useful for wearable devices and sensor networks. “For these applications to be successful, the camera has to be more or less standalone,” says Shree Nayar, a computer science professor at Columbia University. “You want to be able to deploy them and forget about them while they continue to function. And you want them to be really small and really cheap. One obvious way to make a self-powered camera is to attach a solar panel to a camera, but that’s not the most viable solution in terms of cost and size.” »MORE

Mon, April 20 2015 » technology, the new image