As a confirmed science nerd (my degree is in Bio-Medical Sciences) my heart always gets going a few more beats per minute when scientific discoveries are made that could seriously impact the world of photography.
One of these was recently published in Science magazine, when a Japanese researcher discovered that Jumping Spiders use a technique they’ve dubbed “image defocus” to determine the distance between them and their potential prey. Apparently these spiders are the only creature in existence known to use this method; which involves comparing two green detecting layers in their eyes (one in focus and one not) to determine distance.
This entirely new, nature created “technology” has the potential – according to PopPhoto – to offer new ways for cameras to judge distance. Image de-focus, if it is successfully integrated into cameras, could mean taking 3D images using only one lens; and the implications for auto-focus are unlike anything we see today.
It will probably take a long time before we see this kind of natural “technology” make it into man-made realms, but the possibilities are definitely exciting and – much like light-field technology – show once and for all that the photography industry is far from done changing, evolving, and bettering itself.