Paul Chevalier, one of the co-authors of the study published in Science explained how polarization can help us:
"Polarization is a feature of light that changes upon reflection on a surface This change can help us in 3D reconstruction of an object to estimate its depth, texture and shape and to distinguish artificial objects from natural objects, even if they have the same shape and color. "
Unlike today For large and bulky polarization cameras, the camera developed by researchers at Harvard John A. Paulson College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has the size of a thumb. And even with lens and protective cover, it is just as big as a small lunch box. With nanoscale structures, the researchers have designed a device that is small and uncomplicated enough to integrate with existing imaging systems such as your phone.
They believe that it can be used for autonomous vehicles to boost their performance by detecting objects on the road. It could also be used to give planes and satellites the ability to detect camouflaged objects or distinguish between artificial and natural structures. Simply put, they believe that their research is a game changer and that their camera could allow the widespread use of polarization images.