Are you ready for a 500-megapixel cloud camera?

A team of researchers from both Fudan University in Shanghai and Changchun Chinese Academy of Sciences has announced the creation of a 500-megapixel cloud camera systems – a hundred times the quality of a 4K image.

It is reported to be capable of capturing every facial detail of the crowd in a sports stadium or crowded street. With the support of AI and cloud computing, it can also locate a suspect in an instant on the street, sparking concerns of privacy rights.

To reassure the public, the team has ensured that data received is monitored and stored securely.

However, good photos are not defined by the numbers of pixels – so, what is the hype?

The 500-megapixel camera differentiates itself from the competition with computational powers that can stitch real-time ultra-high quality video mosaic.

Conventionally, camera astronomers would capture large images of a few gigapixels – that is, a few billion pixels in one image – and undergo an arduous process of stitching multiple images together to capture the depths of space.

The Chinese researchers have designed two new chips to simplify the process but transferring 500 mega-pixel images wirelessly is a data-intensive task, resulting in a bottleneck in the network.

Zheng Xiao Yang, spokesperson of the research team, said: “In order to resolve this issue, we must enhance the camera system by relying on AI to seek, lock and differentiate faces efficiently.

“By narrowing the search boundaries, the data transferred will be greatly decreased.”

While privacy remains the greatest opposition of a camera’s clarity, time will tell if the commercialisation of this technology is viable.

Image Credits: Fudan University 


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