New Method Using LEDs for Digital Image Capture

We live in a world where almost all phones come with a video camera of immense capability. However, not all events were designed to be filmed. The reasons for bans on digital cameras are multi-fold (privacy, proprietary information, dilution of experience, etc.), but are often difficult to enforce. Cell phones are ubiquitous and generally the size of your palm; not items easily confiscated when photography is banned.

Teams at the University of California San Diego and the University of Wisconsin Madison have a system called LiShield that may be the next generation in photography thwarting.

An ingenious use of LEDs, the device flickers in a fashion that confuses the digital light sensors in cell-phone cameras, rendering taken photographs choppy and useless. The LEDs within the system flicker at such a speed that they are not visible to the human eye, but they provide enough frequency distortion to accomplish their job.

Even more impressive is that it allows for those authorized photographers to work even as it thwarts those who do not. By synchronizing the digital cameras light source to that of the LED, photographs are no longer broken up. Think of it as a camera key using LED tech. Researchers included many different frequencies that alternate in a somewhat random fashion, making the keys very difficult to uncover for those without access. However, the full future of using frequency-based LED technology is unknown, as applications could be tremendously diverse.

The Life Sciences & Instrumentation Division of Gooch and Housego was established to eliminate a void that existed in the area of optical radiation standards, calibration services, and measurement instrumentation for industry, government/military, and academia. We are dedicated to helping you and your organization by providing products that have been tested against traceable photometric standards. If you want to learn more, contact us today at 407-422-3171.

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