3D Camera for Your Smartphone

Engineers at MIT have discovered a new way of gathering depth information that could be used to create 3D cameras requiring only the modest processing power of a smartphone.

What's the Latest Development?


By modifying the concept used by Microsoft's Kinect, engineers at MIT have created a device that retrieves depth information more accurately and works under all lighting conditions. It is so small, cheap and efficient that it could be incorporated into cellphones at virtually no extra cost. Using clever algorithms, engineers created a one-pixel camera that can recreate two-dimensional images. To achieve the third dimension, a parametric algorithm was used to map real space onto a flat plane, which better predicts light refraction.  

What's the Big Idea?

Kinet works by measuring 'time of flight': "A pulse of infrared laser light is fired at a scene, and the camera measures the time it takes the light to return from objects at different distances." As soon the as technology was released, intended for a new generation of gamers, computer engineers began hacking it. At MIT alone, high-tech tinkerers have created a Minority Report-style interface, a navigation system for small robotic helicopters and a holographic video transmitter.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

Archaeologists unearth dozens of mummified cats in Egypt

Dozens of mummified cats were dug up this week. This isn't as shocking as you might think.

KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images
Culture & Religion
  • Archaeologists in Egypt have found dozens of mummified cats in the tomb of a royal offical.
  • The cats will join the ranks of hundreds of thousands of previously discovered ancient kitties.
  • While the cats are nothing special, the tomb also held well preserved beetles.
Keep reading Show less

Men obsessed with building muscle mass have higher mental health risks

They're at a higher risk for depression, weekend binge drinking, and unnecessary dieting.

Palestinian participants flex their muscles during a bodybuilding competition in Gaza city on October 28, 2016. / AFP / MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
Mind & Brain
  • Body dysmorphia is not limited to women, a new study from Norway and Cambridge shows.
  • Young men that focus on building muscle are at risk for a host of mental and physical health problems.
  • Selfie culture is not helping the growing number of teens that are anxious and depressed.
Keep reading Show less

A.I. turns 57 million crop fields into stunning abstract art

Detailed (and beautiful) information on 57 million crop fields across the U.S. and Europe are now available online.

Image: OneSoil
Strange Maps
  • Using satellite images and artificial intelligence, OneSoil wants to make 'precision farming' available to the world.
  • The start-up from Belarus has already processed the U.S. and Europe, and aims for global coverage by 2020.
  • The map is practical, and more — browse 'Random Beautiful Fields' at the touch of a button.
Keep reading Show less