Self-powering camera: an image sensor that's also a photovoltaic cell

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That’s great! Now I will only need a battery to power all the other things my camera battery powers!


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A poor spy camera, “History is made at night!”

The light used to capture the image is the same light used to power it. So it’d have to be too dark to use a camera in the first place for it to not work.

This sort of thinking is intriguing. What if mobile devices start to have a multitude of power generating components onboard? Harvesting ambient radiation, as well as sunlight on every surface of the device, and also harvesting the motion of jostling around in your pocket?

Together with power efficiency improvements, this could lead to drastically longer battery life for devices. And of course, with enough refinement, manufacturers could start making making SoC’s which combine all these things into a module easily integrated into ever-smaller devices.


for a camera, or this camera?

A component on the road to Qeng-Ho localizers.

Sensor Network Technology in Vinge’s A Deepness in the Sky

It’s puzzling that not many people working on sensor networks seem to have read Vernor Vinge’s novel A Deepness in the Sky. So far, out of the people I’ve talked to about it, only Kris Pister has read this book. Of course Kris was one of the originators and major early drivers of the smart dust vision. Perhaps most researchers don’t have time or inclination to read SF? In any case, in 2000, when Vinge’s book came out, the “smart dust” vision was just getting off the ground with the help of DARPA’s NEST (Networked Embedded Systems Technology) program. The research group at UVA that I was a member of at the time was funded under NEST but, alas, I already had a PhD thesis topic and didn’t have the sense to switch over to this new and exciting area. It was only in 2001-2002, while working as a postdoc at Utah, that I got involved in sensor network research.

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Well, it’s still a hypothetical camera at this point… but it seems the point is that the light used to form an image is also sufficient to power the device.

I saw Dr Eli Yablonovitch, of UC Berkeley and Alta Devices, on 2/8/17 at MIT about “A Great Solar Cell Has To Be a Great LED.” His work with gallium arsenide photovoltaics have convinced him that these high efficiency solar cells can also be used in reverse osmosis desalination and pumped water storage, solar fuels, thermophotovoltaics, electro-luminescent refrigeration and heat engines up to and, possibly, including William Shockley’s 1955 concept for a perpetual motion machine pairing an LED with a PV to produce a heat engine run by light - LED light to PV electricity (with a battery to overcome friction losses).

Might want to check in with him.


So we are actually going to get the SeeChange devices from The Circle. That means from now on the first thing a woman has to do before using a public restroom or changing room is check for little cameras.

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