Traditional camera lenses have to have beefier optics to make up for the fact that the sensor is flat—but one reason why the human eye is such an efficient little cam at (576 megapixels! ISO 800!) is because our image sensors (err, retinas) are rounder to better capture the light transmitted by the lens on the other side of the sphere. Researchers at Northwestern and U. Chicago have found a way to create a traditional photo sensor that flexes without breaking, which means your cyborg glass eye of the future will be all the more lifelike.
The system works by linking the individual pixels of the sensor with flexible wires, which allow the sensor itself to take any shape necessary. This will result in more efficient and compact lenses for endoscopes and, potentially, the aforementioned artificial eyes. Right now the biggest sensor they've made only has 256 pixels, but apparently the manufacturing process is similar to current sensors so the researchers are confident they can scale it up quickly. [Medgadgets]