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The shade underneath trees during eclipses is pretty incredible
because it becomes apparent that all of those little dapples of light
are actually images, since every one of them becomes a crescent
rather than a circle.
So this idea is for a computer controlled "tree" that would exploit
ability of the pin holes created by the spaces between its leaves
to act as lenses, to create organized visual phenomena in its shade.
||Point of correction: each pinhole IS the equivalent of a
lens. It appears that what you want is to consolidate all
the individual pinhole-lens images, into a single image.
||Well, considering that from a given point under the
tree, each pinhole among the leaves is pointing in a
different direction, so what you would be creating is a
very wide-field view, without much detail. If you
carpeted the ground under the tree with imaging
devices, then you could get multiple pinhole views of
particular objects, and so more detail
||It also sort-of means you will be using the tree to study
things in the sky. I suspect most ordinary telescopes will
give you better results, but, hey, this is the HalfBakery,
and ineffectual notions are welcome.
||- not entirely unlike an insect's compound eye?
||Actually, thats one of the things that annoy me in
films and suchlike, where they portray what it must
be like to see through an insect compound eye.
Theyll show a special effect that looks like
thousands of replicated partial images as if they were
seen through a cluster of lenses in a format like an
insects compound eye.
||If one were to think about it, the insect itself will not
see things this way. The brain would stitch together
the compound images to form a seamless single
image, much like our two eyes form one perception,
and much like our retinal cells are not perceived as
separate light points. Insect vision would be a single
impression of an image, the same as any other animal
with eyes. What may vary, of course, is the
bandwidth, the focal discrimination, the light
sensitivity, which in the case of marine animals is
limited by distance. But theres absolutely no point in
an insect seeing a disparate collection of partial
images, especially with honeycomb shaped edges.
||By the way, the insect eye is an interesting evolution,
as current thinking suggests that all insects may stem
from species which may have diverged from a life
form that itself is blind (living in subterranean saline