Tiny, low-cost hyperspectral imaging cameras

Hyperspectral imaging is currently used in a variety of industries, including remote sensing, agriculture, biomedical imaging, geosciences, machine vision, surveillance and security and defence. Despite the compelling ability of hyperspectral cameras to record the spectral signatures within a scene, they have found a limited market due to their cost, ranging from $50K to well over $1M. As a result, the data analysis needed to understand hyperspectral images requires trained experts and has not been automated or standardised.

Researchers at PARC have developed a fundamentally new approach that dramatically reduces the associated cost and size barriers, which could lead to hyperspectral cameras on mobile phones and other handheld devices. By targeting such a low price point, industries that use hyperspectral imaging will be able to greatly expand both the operational and research use of these cameras because they will be able to deploy many more devices across their applications and use cases.

The software flexibility and wide wavelength range afforded by the PARC technology means that new applications can be fully developed in software without any of the hardware changes required with existing lower-cost technologies. PARC’s work is enabling a general-purpose hyperspectral imaging platform that can be leveraged by mobile app developers, which is paving the way to make this extremely advanced technology more affordable to average consumers.

The camera is made by the addition of a liquid crystal layer about as thick as one human hair to an existing image sensor. A prototype is described in an article in Optics Express.


Markus's picture

Sounds interesting - are there any example cubes available showing some meaningfull objects? Food, meet, tissue, etc..

Best regards,

Markus (Perception Park)

ianm's picture

I'm not sure Markus, but the article linked above is Open Access and may give you more information.