Nokia’s Lumia range has a great fan following and the flagship Nokia Lumia 920 has some of the best smartphone hardware in the market. However, if there's one area that Nokia has focused heavily on in the last couple of years, it is the smartphone camera. Nokia's strength lies in giving one of the best smartphone photography experiences in the world. And it looks like the company is about to bring an even better shooting experience in the future phones.
The Finnish company has hinted that it will use Californian startup Pelican Imaging's 16-lens array solution for smartphones in the near future. This will allow users to create Lytro-like focus-after-shooting images; it's also slim enough to be squeezed into a modern phone.
The Pelican camera allows users to focus on any part of the picture after it's been shot (Image Credit: Pelican Imaging)
Talking about the next big challenge for Nokia when it came to smartphone photography, Jo Harlow, Nokia’s executive vice president for smartphone business, told an Indian daily, “If you look at where imaging is going, computational imaging is an area of exploration. Being able to capture even more data — data you cannot even see with the human eye that you can only see by actually going back to the picture and being able to do things with them.”
Pelican produces the complex 16-lens array and combines it with algorithmic processing to allow users to adjust an image's focus areas after it has been captured. According to reports, the technology works by placing 16 lenses in a 4×4 grid, each of which has a small sensor dedicated to one of the red, green and blue colours that make up a digital image. Once an image is captured, those 16 lens layers are re-assembled into a picture. And once the picture is captured, it is also possible to re-focus the picture selectively, using the Lytro technology.
Even though Nokia is focused on imaging as a USP for its Lumia range of smartphone and is striving hard to bring this technology into use at the earliest, Pelican Imaging, the brain behind the technology, has confirmed that the Lytro-style camera technology won’t hit the markets until 2014.