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
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
Nokia’s Refocus app was released to a number of PureView Lumia devices about a month ago. In contrast to the light field technology employed in the Lytro light field camera, Nokia’s solution is purely software-based and uses an ordinary digital camera module and several exposures to create a refocus effect.
So how do the two systems and their resulting pictures compare visually?
CNET Australia tries to answer this question in their “refocusing challenge“, showing us refocus-pictures of the same scene, taken with both a Lytro camera and a Nokia Lumia 1520.
Here we take a look at the author’s conclusions, and add our own observations from the picture comparison: Continue reading
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
It won’t be very long until we can find light field technology in smartphones. Until then, developers are finding ways to substitute advanced optics with software.
The newest addition to a slowly growing body of smartphone apps that mimic light field features – such as software refocus or single-lens 3D (e.g. for perspective shift, parallax) – is an iOS app called Seene.
The app uses computer vision and your phone’s sophisticated sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope) to create a 3D model of a scene in just a few instants. Continue reading