Apr 01

HTC One M8: the World’s First Dual Camera Smartphone with Dedicated Depth Sensor?

HTC One M8: the World's First Dual Camera Smartphone? (picture: HTC) Last week, HTC unveiled the much anticipated, new HTC One M8, which immediately started selling in the UK, and will roll out across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, on April 4.

As rumoured, the new Android smartphone features a dual camera system (dubbed “Duo Camera”), where the additional camera is a dedicated depth sensor. To our knowledge, it’s the first time this technology has made it into a commercially available smartphone. The recorded depth information is used to bring a range of new camera features to HTC’s new flagship smartphone:

  • UFocus: Tap to refocus
  • Foregrounder: Apply filters (Pencil Sketch, Zoom Blur, Cartoon, Black&White) to the background.
  • Dimension Plus: Tilt your phone to change the perspective/distortion
  • Seasons: Add foreground-background-aware animations (falling rose petals, floating dandelion seeds, maple leaves, or snow)

Continue reading

Mar 25

Tesseract: Light Field Photography, Automated Subject Extraction and 3D Filters for your Smartphone

Tesseract Logo Remember Focii? The innovative light field capture method, developed by Kshitij Marwah at MIT Media Lab, allows users to convert ordinary cameras into light field cameras just by placing a coded mask film on top of the image sensor. Marwah has successfully ported Focii to a smartphone, and recently launched Tesseract Imaging to make the technology commercially available.
In a recent presentation at INKtalk, Kshitij Marwah presented the new product, and demonstrated three features on his modified Android smartphone (details below), live on stage: Continue reading

Mar 14

HTC One M8 to feature Dual Camera for Software Refocus

HTC One M8 to feature Dual Camera for Software Refocus (picture: GSMArena) It looks like 2014 is becoming the year of mobile software refocus: Toshiba has reportedly already shipped first samples of their Dual Camera module to manufacturers, and Pelican Imaging is making more and more public appearances. On major mobile platforms, several apps already recreate Lytro’s refocus effect with traditional cameras, including some manufacturer-made ones, e.g. in Nokia’s Lumia Phones, Samsung’s Galaxy S5, Sony’s Experia Z2, the LG G Pro 2, and the Meizu MX3.

Now, HTC reportedly jumps on the refocus bandwagon with their upcoming smartphone codenamed M8: According to the below snapshot of a purportedly upcoming flyer for Australian mobile provider Telstra, the “All New HTC One” will feature a “Duo Camera” that allows users to “choose where to focus”, which sounds a lot like Lytro-style software refocus. Continue reading

Jan 21

CES 2014: Qualcomm Demonstrates Snapdragon 805′s Computational Power

CES 2014: Qualcomm Demonstrates Snapdragon 805's Computational Power (picture: Qualcomm) At CES 2014, semiconductor giant Qualcomm gave the media and conference visitors some live demonstrations of the recently announced Snapdragon 805 processor. The company’s new flagship System-on-a-Chip (SoC) is powered by a quad-core Krait 450 CPU (2.5 GHz), an Adreno 420 GPU (500 MHz), and even contains a dual camera image signal processor.
To show what is possible with this higher degree of computational power, Qualcomm showed off some new camera features which may make it into the next generation of mobile devices. Continue reading

Jan 05

Toshiba Prepares First Sample Shipments of TCM9518MD Dual Camera Module with Refocus and More

Toshiba Prepares First Sample Shipments of TCM9518MD Dual Camera Module with Refocus and More (picture: Business Wire) Almost exactly one year ago, Toshiba announced a new light field camera module being developed, which would be small enough for easy inclusion in today’s smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

Details on this camera module, “TCM9518MD”, were generally sparse, but over the course of the year, it became clear that Toshiba had steered development towards a dual camera setup with simultaneous image and depth data collection.

According to a recent Business Wire report, the Japanese electronics is preparing shipments of first samples to interested manufacturers, to be sent out by January 31 2014. Continue reading