Toshiba Building Refocusing Camera Sensor for Smartphones and Tablets

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Posted 4 years ago

Smartphones and tablets have done wonders to photography. The technological advances in cameras that come equipped with the latest smartphones in particular have been so significant that many snappers are as good as entry level and mid-range digital cameras. The quality of camera combined with apps such as Instagram and Flickr have allowed armies of casual photographers to take professional-looking pictures. The range of features in cameras also allows us to tinker with shots, altering the focus, setting up a shot perfectly before hitting the button. However, there is one thing is missing from smartphones cameras: after-shot focusing.

There are few things more annoying than taking what you think is the perfect shot, only to find out afterwards that you have in fact focused the wrong part of the shot. Well, to save those shots from being dumped in the trashcan, Toshiba is working on a camera sensor that will let users change the focus after the picture has been taken.

According to a report by The Asahi Shimbun that was first spotted by Engadget, Toshiba Corp is planning a tiny module that is designed to use 500,000 small lenses that are layered in front of the camera sensor. Each of these lenses takes a slightly different image which, using Toshiba software, can be combined to create a complete picture. The camera will have the ability to measure distance between objects in the snap, allowing users to shift focus as so desire.

Another cool thing is the ability to use the same technology to tweak the focus on videos, which gives it the edge on the much-publicized Lytro camera.

Engadget says that the sensor is still a work in progress, but is expected to make its way into smartphones and tablets before the end of 2013. If Toshiba can convince leading mobile manufacturers to integrate the sensor into their products, this is one piece of tech well worth looking forward too.

– Anthony Carter

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