Thursday, 18 July, 2019

Towards smartphones with … 16 photographic sensors?

Of course, from patent to industrial development, there can be a chasm. The majority of patents filed by companies take dust off a shelf and are perfectly forgotten. However, if a builder takes the time to protect an invention, it is because he plans to use it one day …

Photo modules: an endless inflation?

The first smartphones had only one camera on the back. Then, in the mid-2010s, phones with two photographic sensors appeared. Then with three, then four. The future range of Nokia could take up to five!

The reason for this multiplication is simple. Give each photo module a precise task, depending on its focal length and its aperture. And, depending on the photo to take, focus on one or the other. Take two, three or four photos, and combine them, thanks to an artificial intelligence, to obtain the “perfect” photo.

Adding photo modules allows you to add new optics to your smartphone. A classic wide angle. A zoom. An ultra wide angle. A “normal” focal length (close to the human eye). An ultra-magnifying zoom. We can imagine all possible in-between to reach sixteen.

Smartphones never failed because of their multiple eyes!

A smartphone with sixteen photo modules would actually look like a DSLR with a range of sixteen optics – but able to automatically switch from one to the other, and combine the shots of these optics. What never be surprised and still make remarkable shots. Especially since the phone’s AI should do just about all the tuning and calibration work.

From this point of view, LG’s patent makes sense. It remains to be seen until which tariff peaks a smartphone with sixteen eyes could climb. And if the average user will find a qualitative interest.