A terabyte hard drive in 2 seconds…

I’ve been thinking again about the 50-gigapixel AWARE camera in development by a Duke University-led team (a UA researcher is also working on it). The camera uses 98 separate 14-megapixel microcameras and then the images are stitched together, in the latest update to 19th century composite printing.

When it’s not surveilling you from 15,000 feet (the research was funded by DARPA), the camera takes pictures like this:  gigapixel3_mini

This graphic from a Wall Street Journal article is good, too:



The camera is not as cute a the Google Street View camera mounted on a car, trike, or backpack…aware2cam

….but it captures an incredible/absurd amount of visual information, and the team is aiming for more: We want to be able to record images at 10 frames per second, which is near video rate,” Gehm explained. “The 50-gigapixel camera would generate a half a terabyte of data every second. You’d fill a terabyte hard drive in two seconds, you’d fill a data center in about a day, and you’d fill all of the data centers on the planet in about a year to a year and a half.”

It’s so much data that there is an interesting snag: currently no display exists that is capable of showing the camera’s pictures.

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