In April, a Columbia University team unveiled
the first working prototype of an “eternal camera,” which records video and provides its own power, even in indoor settings. The team developed a design that continually toggles between measuring and harvesting light.
The possibilities could be as limitless as the camera’s power supply, from wildlife monitoring to law enforcement.
“We’re really in the middle of an imaging revolution, but if you want to see images becoming ubiquitous — I’m not talking about pretty pictures, but as a way to document life — you don’t want these devices tethered [to a separate power source],” says computer science professor and project leader Shree Nayar.
Nayar’s team will spend the next year or so shrinking the “big, clunky device,” boosting its power and enabling it to communicate wirelessly.