Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 11:06:12 +0200
- All About Symbian - General News
Pelican Imaging's array camera coming to a smartphone next year?
Following the news of Nokia Growth Partner's investment in array camera firm Pelican Imaging, Engadget followed up with the company, reporting that the CEO, Chris Picket says his product is currently being trialed by device manufacturers and is scheduled to be part of at least one new smartphone launching in 2014. Unsurprisingly he would not disclose details of any of the manufacturers involved, but given their respective commitment to imaging innovation Nokia and HTC are both possible candidates.
Endgadet also offers a few more details of Pelican Imaging's prototype product, noting that it uses 16 distinct lenses and imaging channels in a 4x4 grid, and that each sub-camera captures only one colour (red, green, blue), which helps reduce noise. The associated software processing, which is where Pelican Imaging's expertise lies, will produced a single JPEG file from the multiple sub-cameras, one that is about 20% larger than that from a standard camera because it contains additional depth information.
This capture of depth information is possible because there are small distance differences between the sub-cameras making up the camera array. It is this information makes it possible for an array camera to carrying out most of its "tricks", including refocusing an image after it has been captured. As Engadget point out it also means there's no need for traditional focusing elements in the camera, which is what makes Pelican Imaging's solution camera module thinner than traditional solutions.
Example of output from Pelican Imaging prototype - with the ability to refocus scene after capture. Credit: Pelican Imaging.
Engadget also wanted to know whether Pelican Imaging's technology could be combined with Nokia's PureView technology (41MP sensor in the Nokia 808 PureView and OIS in Nokia Lumia 920). Engadget quote the company's CTO, Kartik Venkataraman, as saying:
"Our technology is not mutually exclusive with Nokia's. We can take elements of what they're doing and improve what we can do. There are some synergies that will lead to some pretty exciting possibilities that we're actually beginning to work on today, although I can't talk about it yet."
It's worth reiterating that Pelican Imaging did not say anything about its relationship with Nokia, or even whether such a relationship exists, outside the investment partnership disclosed earlier this week. Nonetheless it's clear array camera technology could provide an exciting avenue for imaging innovation in smartphones in 2014.
Read the full Engadget article here.