Toshiba LightField Camera Module

Toshiba announces tiny LightField camera module for Smartphones and Tablets, Ready by End of fiscal 2013 (photo: Takashi Kamiguri)
Toshiba announces tiny LightField camera module for Smartphones and Tablets, Ready by End of fiscal 2013 (photo: Takashi Kamiguri)

Toshiba announces tiny LightField camera module for Smartphones and Tablets, Ready by End of fiscal 2013 (photo: Takashi Kamiguri) In the final days of 2012, Toshiba Corp. was the first major player in the field of electronics to announce a LightField product for the consumer market: A LightField enabled camera module that they plan to commercialize “by the end of fiscal 2013” (March 2014).

The entire camera module measures 1 x 1 x 1 cm1 0.8 x 0.8 x 0.8 cm2, and contains an 8 Megaray CMOS2 LightField sensor with 500,000 microlenses (30 µm diameter) in front of a 7 x 5 mm image sensor.
For comparison: that is 5x more microlenses with a sensor roughly the same size of Lytro’s LightField Camera.
Effective image resolution of the current version is 2 Megapixels. A future version will use a 13 Megaray sensor and produce 5-6 MP LightField images2.

Toshiba hasn’t provided many details, but has mentioned and demonstrated several interesting features that will be possible with their camera module: software refocus1, selective focus on multiple objects2, background/foreground extraction2 and LightField video.

Toshiba demonstrates refocus capability of their LightField camera module: focus on the foreground (picture: Takashi Kamiguri) Toshiba demonstrates refocus capability of their LightField camera module: focus on the background (picture: Takashi Kamiguri)
A sample depth map from Toshiba's LightField camera module shows the distance of two dolls in millimeters.Toshiba's tiny LightField camera module for smartphones, with (right) and without (left) lens (photo: IDG News Service)

Toshiba has called upon smartphone manufacturers and other companies to adopt the technology.

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