Camera Culture: MIT developing LightField Sensors for Smartphone Cameras

According to Kshitij Marwah (MIT), placing this filter in front of any standard digital camera sensor makes it a LightField sensor. (Photo: Rafe Needleman/Camera Culture) LightField technology is without doubt the future of photography. But when will this future start, and who will bring the technology to the mainstream?

Smartphone-Makers Apple and HTC are said to be in a race to build the first LightField enabled smartphone, Nokia has hinted at a LightField future for their smartphones, and less-known companies Pelican Imaging and Rebellion Photonics are working on their own solutions for compact LightField sensors. Meanwhile, recent novelties in the mobile processor market have taken us one step closer to the processing power required for LightField data computing.

In his recent column on the Opportunity Notes blog, journalist Rafe Needleman talks about his meeting with Kshitij Marwah, a researcher of the MIT Camera Culture team. They are working on new “special filters” that will enable LightField capabilities on any standard imaging sensor. Marwah believes they can make light field cameras “as cheap as current smartphone cameras”.

Close-up look at the LightField filter presented by Kshitij Marwah (MIT). (Photo: Rafe Needleman/Camera Culture) Technical details are rare in the article, but a close look at the image suggests it’s a filter mask (as opposed to the microlense arrays used by Lytro and Raytrix) that seems to be very heterogeneous.
We’ve reached out to Marwah for more information, and will keep you posted as we learn more about his research.


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1 Response

  1. Peter Lee says:

    If a mask filter works on any imaging sensor, why not combine the filter with a Foveon sensor to produce some of the sharpest lightfield images….

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