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(Daily Mail)   New spy camera takes pictures in complete darkness. However, the privacy of being photographed without you knowing it is balanced out by the fact that there is no annoying red eye   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 4
    More: Spiffy, photons, hidden camera, measuring, particles  
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3853 clicks; posted to Geek » on 02 Dec 2013 at 9:13 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-02 09:12:45 AM  
2 votes:

dittybopper: It's an "active" device:

The camera works by scanning an object using low-intensity pulses of laser light.

Like all such devices, a simple detector will warn you of the presence of such a device.  And because the detector only has to be able to detect the signal directly from the laser, and not the reflection, it can be significantly less sensitive and still have a greater range than the camera itself.


Here's the project website if you're not a brain-dead Daily Mail writer.

http://www.rle.mit.edu/first-photon-imaging/

As the website name suggests, the significance of this work is that they can reproduce images using a  single photon at each pixel. If you think about it, this is just about the minimum possible amount of light conceivable for an imaging task (barring something like sampling).

It's true that this is still an active device, and in principle could be detected by a sufficiently sensitive detector the problem would be the false-positive rate. Either your subject is permanently locked in a completely dark room, or there will be enough natural light just about anywhere else to register on your detector. You would need a somewhat sophisticated detector to discriminate this kind of device against natural background light.
2013-12-02 11:29:52 AM  
1 votes:

dittybopper: DubtodaIll: dittybopper: DubtodaIll: Super useful for when you're in complete darkness, so pretty much never.

Heh.

I used to work in a facility that was underground.  When we lost power, it went black.  You can't imagine the complete blackness that is the total absence of light.

I've been cave diving a few times, and yeah, complete darkness is very disorienting but still not terribly prevalent.  Did your facility not have emergency generators or flashlights?

Oh, yes, but the generators took approximately 30 to 60 seconds to start up and provide power.

Flashlights weren't common, because it was a SCIF*, but there were a few I believe at the MP station and of course in the generator room.  Shift leader on the floor might have had one in his desk.  And there was some emergency lighting, but that was in the hallways and not on the operations floor.

But it was uncommon enough, and the outages short enough, that it was best just to stay where you were until the power came back on.  Longest I can remember it going out was for less than a minute, but 60 seconds in complete blackness feels a heck of a lot longer than it is.

*Anything that could hide a camera, or that you could smuggle documents out with, was looked upon with a jaundiced eye.


Yeah best I can remember from a few times I've experienced it was that my brain was so confused from the complete lack of visual stimulus.  I was as if the visual center of my brain, which up until that moment has always been busy and working, suddenly got a break and didn't know what to do with itself.
2013-12-02 10:50:55 AM  
1 votes:
Um, don't all cameras work by capturing photons in the air?
2013-12-02 07:58:52 AM  
1 votes:
It's an "active" device:

The camera works by scanning an object using low-intensity pulses of laser light.

Like all such devices, a simple detector will warn you of the presence of such a device.  And because the detector only has to be able to detect the signal directly from the laser, and not the reflection, it can be significantly less sensitive and still have a greater range than the camera itself.
 
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