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A team of engineers has developed a camera made from off-the-shelf components, is the size of a dishwasher, and can capture photographs with a mind-melting resolution of one billion pixels. 

Called the AWARE-2, the camera is the work of Duke University's David Brady and his talented team of engineers. The bill is being footed by the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, so it's a safe bet that the first iteration of this machine will be used by our armed forces for surveillance.  

What could you do with such a powerful camera? Well, you wouldn't need to focus so intensely on what you're trying to capture. As seen from the above photo from Nature magazine, someone can snap a photo of a skyline and then go in and focus on whatever part of the photo the person needed. 

Speaking to Nature magazine, Brady explained how the camera was developed. 

“Each one of the microcameras captures information from a specific area of the field of view,” Brady said. “A computer processor essentially stitches all this information into a single highly detailed image. In many instances, the camera can capture images of things that photographers cannot see themselves but can then detect when the image is viewed later.”

Despite its current size and the cost barriers, Brady hopes this technology makes it into consumer's hands in the future. 

Head over to to read more about the AWARE-2.

[via Nature]