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Low-Cost Night-Vision System Proposed for Home Use

Photonics Spectra
Sep 2000
In a study published in the June issue of Optical Engineering, scientists at National Chiao Tung University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, described the feasibility of fabricating a low-resolution thermal imaging system that the average homeowner could use for detecting intruders or fires.

Principal researcher Tzong-Sheng Lee said that it should be possible to use inexpensive components -- such as $5 plastic infrared optics in place of $6000 Ge optics -- and to combine them with IR focal plane arrays and a neural network to produce a $200 system with the capabilities of high-resolution versions that cost as much as $25,000.

Lee said that, although the system would have a resolution of only 64 × 64 pixels in comparison with 320 × 240-pixel resolution in high-end systems, it would be able to recognize smaller targets with the aid of custom pattern-recognition software.

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