Swedish scientists have developed a camera that mimics bird vision

Lund University professor Dan-Erik Nilsson and his former student, now Ph.D. Cynthia Tedor, have developed an optical system that mimics the features of bird vision. In particular, it adds the ability to see images in ultraviolet light in addition to the visible spectrum. And it opens the ability to navigate, which is difficult for a person to imagine

The Lund Vision Group, a research group at the university, has designed a multispectral camera with a set of optical filters. Their number and combinations can vary, and the filters themselves simulate the perception of light fluxes by various types of photoreceptive cones in the retina of living beings. Birds, for example, have four species, and with the help of such a camera, scientists were able to look at the world with a "bird's eye".

It turned out that the ability to see objects in ultraviolet light significantly increases the contrast of the picture. For example, the foliage of trees from a solid green wall turns into an alternation of light and dark spots that correspond to the illuminated side of the leaves and the one in the shade. And instead of some kind of solid mass, as people see it, birds perceive the crowns of trees as a labyrinth with clearly marked three-dimensional obstacles, which simplifies maneuvering between them.

What he saw did not become a discovery, but made one think that the ability to see nature in different ways radically changes the perception of the world. People and birds seem to live in different realities, and where we see an obstacle or danger to fall from a height, birds feel a saving space for flight and an opportunity to hide from ground predators.