Prism-Lens Microscope Captures Nine Images At Once For Multi-Angle Stereoscopic Viewing

So you’re thinking of getting a 3DS, huh? Or maybe that G-Slate, or the Optimus 3D? That’s cool. Oh wait, no it’s not. Because the two-lens thing is so over. Ever since researchers at Ohio State invented this sweet 9-facet lens for taking stereoscopic pictures, I can’t even think about regular-style stereoscopy.

Yes: tired of the necessity of using expensive, cumbersome tools to get 3D perspectives on tiny objects like medical probes and micrometer-level tools, Allen Yi and some grad students at Ohio decided to take matters into their own precision-mill calipers. They created this lens, which has the appearance of a sort of rough brilliant gem cut, but in fact is precision milled down to a 10-nanometer level, letting each facet provide a slightly different, optimized view.

It’s made out of polymethyl methacrylate, and once mated properly to a normal microscope, provides an excellent way to get a relatively precise 3D image quickly and easily. And this 9-facet version isn’t the only one; they’ve tested versions with as many as 1000 facets. They hope to develop the idea further and sell it among the medical tech community, where something like this may prove to be an invaluable tool.

It’ll probably be a while before it trickles down to iPhone camera accessories, though.

[via Medgadget; images: J. Kevin Fitzsimons for Ohio State]