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The ultrasensitive eyes of mantis shrimps are the inspiration behind a new kind of optical sensor that is small enough to fit on a smartphone, yet capable of performing hyperspectral and polarimetric imaging. A prototype of the sensor, called the stomatopod-inspired multispectral and polarization sensitive (SIMPOL) sensor, was able to simultaneously register four spectral channels and three polarization channels.
By comparison, a CCD sensor may have only three spectral imaging sensors that detect red, green, and blue, and only two polarization channels. Additionally, the SIMPOL prototype was able to measure the four color channels at one point, whereas CCD sensors rely on imaging sensors spread across several points.