Smartphone makers around the world are racing release the world’s first light field enabled smartphone. According to some reports, manufacturers such as Apple, HTC, Nokia, and also the MIT are working on further miniaturizing the technology to fit into mobile devices. Meanwhile, companies like Pelican and Toshiba are finalizing their camera designs for third-party licensing.
Now, The US Patent and Trademark has granted Apple a new patent describing a “digital camera including refocusable imaging mode adaptor”, and it comes with an interesting addition to the existing light field solutions by Lytro or Raytrix. Continue reading
Back in October, Nokia first presented their Windows Phone app “Nokia Refocus”, which offers a Lytro-like post-capture software refocus feature for Nokia’s conventional camera modules. The company promised to make the app available not just to owners of the brand-new Lumia 1520 phablet, but to all of their PureView enabled Lumia smartphones.
Just a few days ago, the app was finally released for the broader audience. Nokia Refocus is now available for the Lumia 920, Lumia 925, Lumia 928, Lumia 1020, and other PureView enabled smartphones that are running the Amber update.
With the introduction of interactive refocus to the (camera enthusiast) mainstream, Lytro opened a new, compelling way to tell stories with images. The software refocus feature is fundamentally embedded in light field technology, but it can be recreated with a bit more user effort, using an ordinary camera. We’ve seen methods using a video with moving focus as well as camera apps that use multiple exposures at different focal lengths, such as Refocus (Windows Phone) tap2focus (iOS) or FocusTwist (iOS). Advances in the (conventional) camera world, such as the super-fast MEMS technology, are adding to the “refocus hype” – both by making the creation process faster and easier, and by promoting refocus as one of the new products.
Nokia, one of the major investors around Pelican Imaging and their Array Camera, has just announced a new smartphone app for their Lumia series that uses the “multiple exposure” refocus workaround: Continue reading
Are you still looking for an easy way to explore those Lytro LFP-files outside of Lytro Desktop? Jan Kučera from Charles University Prague has taken a closer look at the Lytro camera, and published his findings on a small website titled LYTRO meltdown.
Tech-minded fans will find some very detailled information on the camera hardware and structure of basic files associated with the camera and software. For example, did you ever wonder what the “backup” really does, when you connect your camera to the computer for the first time?
The homemade software library (LightFieldLibrary.dll) available at the website works with Lytro’s light field files, and allows programmers to integrate Lytro compatibility into their own software.
There’s also something waiting for the less tech-savvy Lytro fans: Jan’s very own Lytro Compatible Viewer, which enables you to easily open raw and processed lfp files: Continue reading
Google’s Nexus line of smartphones and tablets represents not only a family of mobile devices with a pure, unadulterated Android experience, but also important flagship devices with the newest OS version and features.
Recent rumors have outfitted the next Nexus phone generation, dubbed Nexus 5, with the innovative MEMS camera technology. The first ever camera with MEMS technology, short for micro-electro-mechanical silicone system, was presented to the world about 6 months ago and offers ultra-fast focus (up to 7x faster than current cameras) while minimizing both size and energy consumption. The product has been marketed as bringing Lytro-like software refocus to smartphones, without the need for light field technology.