Photonic Instrument

The Photonic Instrument, a webcam based entropy source.

The Photonic Instrument.

The Photonic is built around a webcam and uses multiple types of CMOS sensor noise to generate it’s entropy. The processes that create the entropy here are exactly the same processes that make a nightclub selfie look noisy. An IP camera is located at the centre of a dimly lit integrating sphere (the golden ball at the top). The instrument can generate approximately 210kb/s of entropy from sequential randomly created JPEG files. So much faster than /dev/random. It stands 750mm high, weighs a miniscule 8.4kg and operates on 12V.

Photonic Instrument's on-off, temperature and luminosity controls.

Photonic Instrument's on-off, temperature and luminosity controls.

And when it’s running, the on indicator lights up with pretty colours. It would be nice to have some form of access indication too, so that if someone accesses the instrument via the internet, we’ll see it. Unfortunately that’s not really possible without tapping into the Ethernet cabling as the camera is a totally self contained device with an embedded web server.

Photonic Instrument's on indicator.

Photonic Instrument's on indicator.

And finally, the Master Control Resistor Holder Unit thingie. By changing the little blue resistor on top, this plug in holder allows the LED current to be varied slightly around a recommended 20mA, maximising sensor noise.

Master Control Resistor Holder Unit thingie.

Master Control Resistor Holder Unit thingie.

The following concept graphic is a .lead formated export from our 3D pre-cognition software. The instrument was based around this design.

Conceptual design of the Photonic Instrument (webcam based entropy source).

Photonic Instrument conceptual design.