In a country that has been plagued by a pandemic for years, a new kind of security is being proposed.
The idea is to turn a smartphone’s camera into a mobile telescope that could help keep the rest of us safe.
And it’s being proposed by a company called OptiScan, which describes itself as the world’s first smartphone camera company.
The company has just raised a $30 million Series A round from private equity firm KKR, and has been working on the project since January.
This is the latest in a string of recent acquisitions, including a $500 million deal with Snapchat earlier this year.
The optics tech used in the telescope, which will be used in conjunction with a device called a “smart phone remote,” is being developed by a startup called LensEye.
“We have a very sophisticated device in our head that has built-in video processing and video compression capabilities that are being used to capture video, and the way it can be combined with the device to form a digital image is really something that has only been seen in the past,” said OptiScans co-founder and CEO Mark Schleicher.
The technology could be useful in the fight against terror attacks or in detecting stolen goods.
The tech could be used to identify stolen goods in the future, as well.
It can also be used as a way to make phone calls with a person who is holding a camera in their pocket, and it could even be used for security purposes, Schleich said.
“If you need to know what someone is doing in your room, and you’re not sure what’s in their room, then you could have the ability to use that as a video feed that allows you to find out,” he said.
The problem that Schlechis and his team face is that the technology has never been used in a real world environment.
“The only thing that’s been done with this device is a small piece of a camera, and we have never seen anyone actually put this together and use it in a scenario like this,” Schleick said.
That’s why the team is also exploring other ways to make the optics technology more useful in real-world situations.
“What we’ve done is taken a camera that has already been around for quite some time and applied it to the device, and so we have an optical system that has all the advantages of the camera, but with the ability for us to do other things with the camera,” he explained.
The team is currently working on an application that could allow for real-time data extraction, including location, location-tracking and voice-to-text communications.
The device itself will be small and lightweight.
The optical lens that the company has developed could be mounted in the palm of your hand, or placed on a tripod, but the optics themselves are the same, according to Schleik.
“It’s got a lens, it’s got some components, it has a bunch of sensors, it will be capable of performing these types of functions,” he told Business Insider.
The LensEye team hopes to deliver a product in 2018.
“OptiScan has been looking for the next big thing in optics, and this is the next one,” Schlein said.
In the meantime, Schleck says the optics tech will be useful for other applications.
“In a world where we have surveillance cameras everywhere, if you are looking for somebody to be in a position of control or to be the next person to go to, then there are things that you can do with this,” he added.
“With this technology, you can turn the camera into an electronic telescope and have the whole world see what you are doing.”