That might sound like an oxymoron - how can it be unique if there is more than one way? – but it’s not. Let me explain. Spookfish is an Australian company that claims to have developed a unique geospatial technology that enables it to rapidly and repeatedly image entire countries in high resolution at a fraction of the cost of other systems. Spookfish is also something quite different that is unique in its own way. We come to that in a minute.
Spookfish, the imaging company, says it aims to use its capabilities to make it easy for organisations of all sizes to “gain access to premium imagery content and pervasive 3D models allowing concise, accurate and cost-effective decision-making.”
It claims that its technology can benefit a multitude of areas such as real estate, urban planning, infrastructure, asset management, insurance and security. According to its web site, its product was "designed from a clean sheet, leveraging state of the art sensor technologies only recently available, and disregarding what was thought impossible."
Spookfish says the resulting breakthrough provides it with a unique set of capabilities that enable it to be ultra competitive with contemporary systems and “accomplish capture programs that other companies can’t even contemplate.”
It explains: “To achieve a vast rate of data capture, Spookfish developed an innovative dynamic motion camera and optics system that can capture hundreds of photos per second. By using a compact dynamic motion camera system instead of a static array of cameras, Spookfish is able to achieve a combination of capture rates, imaging geometry, and resolutions that up until now have simply not been possible. As the system is more compact, much larger optics can be employed, allowing capture from much higher altitudes - greatly boosting productivity and easing airspace access.”
And the other spookfish? It’s the brownsnout spookfish (Dolichopteryx longipes). It’s found in the Pacific and although its existence has been known for 120 years, no live specimen had ever been captured, until last year when one was caught off Tonga, by scientists from Tuebingen University, Germany. And they found that it uses mirrors to focus light into its eye!
Professor Julian Partridge, of Bristol University, who examined the fish, said: "In nearly 500 million years of vertebrate evolution, and many thousands of vertebrate species living and dead, this is the only one known to have solved the fundamental optical problem faced by all eyes - how to make an image - using a mirror.”
Now that’s unique.