February 22, 2024

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New camera technology shows how animals see the world

New camera technology shows how animals see the world

Animals see the world differently than humans. This is due to the presence of different photoreceptors in their eyes, which enable them to see things that are invisible to the human eye. For example, some animals can detect ultraviolet light, which is invisible to us humans.

To provide us with this unique perspective, researchers, including Vera Vassas from the University of Sussex and colleagues from George Mason University's Hanley Color Laboratory, have developed a special camera and open source software.

Technology allows us to see the world through animals' eyes, and gain insight into their unique perceptions.

Previous technology was very limited

To date, researchers have used methods such as spectrophotometry to simulate the perception of animals, e.g SiteDaily mentioned. However, this method is relatively time consuming and limited to images.

The newly developed camera can also record videos and view them from the animals' perspective. The camera records in four color channels – blue, green, red and ultraviolet.

The data is then processed in so-called “perception modules” to recreate the viewpoints of the different animals. The researchers compared the camera results with spectrophotometry results and found that the camera could reproduce the animal's vision with more than 92 percent accuracy.

Software and hardware are available to everyone

The camera system consists of commercially available cameras mounted in a modular 3D printed housing. This makes it possible to reproduce the system with relatively little effort.

The associated software is designed as an open source project and thus can be accessed by anyone interested. Accessibility allows other researchers, as well as filmmakers, to use technology to view and experience the world from the perspective of animals.

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The search results were presented in A Stady Published in the scientific journal PLOS Biology.

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