A sensor that mimics the way a human eye responds to light could make digital cameras more efficient. This could pave the way to faster, more efficient machine vision for things like self-driving cars and robots.
Some modern cameras are built around charge-coupled devices (CCDs), which produce a voltage when light falls on them. Continuous light produces a continuous signal. By contrast, retinal cells produce a spike only when first lit up, reacting further only when the light changes. The biological system is more efficient in handling information, as it only sends new data.
John Labram at Oregon State University and …