Scientists have invented a camera that generates its power using only the light it captures in the sensor. No battery or electric cable powers it. Instead …
the pixel’s photodiode can be used to not only measure the incident light level, but also to convert the incident light into electrical energy. A sensor architecture is proposed where, during each image capture cycle, the pixels are used first to record and read out the image and then used to harvest energy and charge the sensors’ power supply. (Towards Self-Powered Cameras).
Petapixel describes it this way: “After each image capture, the sensor switches modes, harvests light, and stores that energy in order to power the next shot. By alternating between capture and charge modes in this way, the camera sensor can continually shoot images and video without having any kind of additional power source.”
The prototype camera has only 30×40 diodes – pixels – hence the crudeness of the image. As a first experiment in a new technology, it’s reminiscent of the first movie tests made by Thomas Edison’s team in 1889, the very first motion picture.
Edison’s first motion picture film test, 1889