Light field technology is gaining momentum in the mainstream, but we have yet to see the first smartphone featuring a Pelican Array Camera, Tesseract/Focii module, or something similar.
Meanwhile, more and more developers are using advanced software in conjunction with traditional camera modules to recreate one of the most popular features of the light field: software refocus.
The latest addition to the growing list of companies/developers recreating the refocus effect on mobile devices is none other than the mother of Android: Google. Introducing “Lens Blur”, the company has included their own version of software refocus into its all-new Google Camera app (free). Continue reading
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)
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
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
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