A new high-resolution camera developed by Imaging Solutions Group for the U.S. Navy and NASA should be available in six to nine months, according to this article from Technology Research News. This camera delivers 8.3 million pixels with 24-bit color at a rate of 30 frames per second, about four times the resolution of today's HDTV systems. The complete system includes an IBM T221 9.2-megapixel liquid crystal display. "The system allows a person with 20/20 vision standing half a meter away from the screen to see a view that is arguably equivalent to looking through a window, according to the researchers." No price has been set, but it should be slightly above US$40,000.
Researchers from Imaging Solutions Group (ISG) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center have put together a camera and display system that displays full-motion video at nearly human-visual-system resolution.
The system could provide a virtual window for various military, aerospace, security and entertainment applications. The system's method of capturing and displaying data could also be adapted to improve data transmission and storage, according to the researchers.
The camera was first described in this press release on October 7, 2003. Here are some details.
The camera uses a leading edge CMOS image sensor from Silicon Video Inc. [, now known as Panavision SVI, LLC.] This sensor has 3840 x 2160 pixels for 8.3 megapixels of data running at 30 frames per second and is four times the resolution of the best HDTV systems in use today.
This picture above shows the inside of the camera seen from the top. You'll find many more illustrations in this description of the QuadHDTV camera (Credit: ISG).
IBM has been working with ISG, US Navy, and NASA Ames Research Center to ensure that the IBM T221 high-resolution display can be driven by the ISG camera. This display has 9.2 million pixels and multiple DVI inputs that can directly connect to the ISG QuadHDTV™ camera for real-time display of video.
The diagram below shows how video recording is done with 4 HDTV recorders and the image displayed on the IBM T221. It was extracted from another document about this camera (PDF format, 14 pages) (Credit: ISG).
Let's return to the TRN article to discover what's next.
The researchers are working on finding compression schemes that will allow them to stream the video signal over networks.
Please note that with 30 frames per second, and each featuring 8.3 megapixels using 24-bit color, you need a banwidth of about 750 megabytes per second. The researchers will certainly have to work on image compression...
It's unclear how much this camera costs, but ISG says that it "may someday sell for half the price of today’s 3-CCD systems that cost in excess of $85K." So, my guess is that you could buy one for slightly more than US$40,000.
Sources: Technology Research News, June 30/July 7, 2004; Imaging Solutions Group; and various websites