Completely Flat Fisheye Lens Produces Crisp Panoramic Images

Fisheye lenses are ultra-wide-angle lenses made from multiple pieces of curved glass, which distort incoming light to produce wide, bubble-like images. The lenses are often bulky and costly to make. Now, engineers at MIT  and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell have designed the first completely flat fisheye lens to produce crisp, 180-degree panoramic images. The design is a type of “metalens"; it consists of a single flat, millimeter-thin piece of glass covered on one side with tiny structures that precisely scatter incoming light to produce panoramic images. The lenses could be integrated into medical imaging devices such as endoscopes, as well as in virtual reality glasses, wearable electronics, and other computer vision devices.