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A camera without a lens? Hitachi is on it

Apple, Hitachi sees your phone without a headphone jack and is about to raise you.

N-Photo Magazine

If you thought Apple making an iPhone without a headphone jack was wild, wait until you hear this.

Hitachi is working on building cameras that don't have lenses. Instead, the company claims, pictures taken with the camera will be refocused after being captured.

Similar to Apple's claim that taking out the headphone jack allows for bigger batteries and other parts to be put in, Hitachi says cameras that use this lensless tech will be considerably slimmer and lighter.

Lensless cameras are possible thanks to a pattern development technique called "Moiré fringes" -- you can find the company's explanation, rife with technical mumbo jumbo, here. Hitachi is planning on making cameras that use this technology by 2018.

The company also hopes to utilise lensless photography in automated driving, vehicles and robotics. With surveillance tech such as CCTV, faces of people are often blurred due to low focal ranges. With Hitachi's lensless camera tech, for instance, still images could theoretically be adjusted on the fly from a range of depths to identify people more clearly.