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Faster-than-light camera invented by MIT’s Ramesh Raskar (ex-Punekar)

Actually, the headline of this article contains a number of inaccuracies. First, the research is just by Ramesh Raskar, but is the work of a group of people, and Ramesh Raskar, Associated Professor at MIT’s Media Lab, and Director of the Camera Culture Group is one of the people in the group. Second, the camera (like everything else in the universe) is not faster than light; but what it does to is simulate the capture of a scene at trillions of frames per second, thus allowing it to capture things like light passing across a scene. Also, because of confusions in the past, I need to point out that we’re talking about the MIT in USA.

More details on the invention (which is actually done by cleverly bending light and then analyzing the results with a computer) can be found here

In any case, the question is, why is this article on PuneTech? Yes, Raskar is a Punekar – he did is engineering in COEP. However, so what? I am against the idea of Indians getting very excited about major achievements by people who grew up here, but really blossomed in environments outside of India.

However, Raskar continues to be relevant to Pune for the following reasons:

The last one I see as the most important, and far-reaching. Specifically, Dr. Raskar is interested in collaborating with individuals, entrepreneurs, companies, or institutions on at least two of his projects, if not more. Here are details:

  • He is hoping to see that his EyeNetra invention reaches the maximum number of people in India – specially rural India. EyeNetra is the handheld, android-based, cheap device to detect vision problems including lens prescription, astigmatism, and cataract. Raskar is looking to collaborate with someone in India who can make this happen – either as a for-profit enterprise, or as a social enterprise. For more details see this PuneTech post
  • He is hoping that some day, an event similar to MIT’s $100k Entrepreneurship Competition can be created in Pune in particular, or India in general. If there is someone here who can pull this off, Raskar would be able to support the initiative in various ways – including being involved himself, and trying to get people or groups from MIT to also be involved in some way.

Get in touch with Dr. Ramesh Raskar at: raskar@mit.edu (or get in touch with us, and we can introduce you).

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