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Canadian researchers create flexible camera that easily captures panoramas

Researchers at Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab in Canada may have made one of the more difficult things to photograph – panoramas – as easy as bending a flexible screen.

Traditionally, panoramas are shot by taking several photographs from left to right, and then using computer software to stitch them together. It sounds simple but executing it successfully is anything but (photographer Joe Reifer has an elaborate setup for achieving his 360-degree panos). But a new camera developed at the Human Media Lab makes the process even simpler by flexing a thin OLED display until a panoramic view is achieved, and then pressing the shutter. No panning is required, just bend and snap, as Elle Woods taught us in “Legally Blonde.” The Flexcam uses three cameras in a bendable array that flexes with the display. An image processor then stiches the images together with the aid of sensors.

Unfortunately the Human Media Lab has no plans to put it into production, but with companies like Samsung and LG building products with flexible displays, it’s a concept that may see the light of day in the future.

Check out the video on how the Flexcam works.

(Image and video via Queen’s University Human Media Lab via Gizmodo)

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