My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How Corephotonics' Dual-Camera System will result in Smartphones Optical Zoom for VR Content

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

How Corephotonics' Dual-Camera System will result in Smartphones Optical Zoom for VR Content

Looks like, just as is the case with Jamaican women, two cameras is better than one.

Corephotonics, a Israeli startup specializing in camera optics, has developed a  new dual-camera system for smartphones as reported in the article “The future of smartphones is in dual cameras”, published February 22, 2016 by Aloysius Low, CNET News.

Their product, which was on show at MWC (Mobile World Congress) 2016 from Monday February 22nd 2016 to Thursday February 25th 2016, trumps bigger screens and faster processor. Their dual-camera system will make optical zoom possible while reducing excess light reaching the CCD (Charge Couple Device) making for cleaner, more balance pictures.

But more interestingly as far as I'm, concerned, it would lead to a push towards 3D imaging, allowing for smartphone user to take 3D images of object and their surroundings. They could then take these images and reproduce them in a 3D printer, working in much the same way that Caltech's 3D scanning using LIDAR works as explained in my blog article entitled “@Caltech's Portable 3D Scanning Device - How portable 3D Scanning using LIDAR gives a boost to 3D Printing revolution”.

This tech is set to be a huge gamechanger in the smartphone world, as most Smartphone cameras can take pictures, albeit they can't beat dSLR from even our local photographers in St. Williams Grant Park as explained in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How the Photographers of St William Grant Park are beating smartphone Selfies”. 

Optical zoom, a requirement among most professional photographers, means that Smartphone need to have a lens attachment to achieve this effect as pointed out in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to take High Quality Photographs with the Samsung Galaxy S6”. 

So how does the Corephotonics dual-camera system make a difference?

Corephotonics dual-camera system - Smartphones Optical Zoom for filming VR Content

This won't be the first time that the Smartphone biz has dabbled in 3D imaging. HTC Evo 3D used dual cameras to take 3D images, but idea failed to spark the imagination of the masses.

Not this time though; this time, we have VR (Virtual Reality) and Augmented Reality as was evidence at CES (Computer Electronics Show) 2016 as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “How CES 2016 is going VR thanks to HTC, Sony, Microsoft, Samsung and Oculus and now at MWC 2016”, which had splashes of VR interspersed among the usual smartphone launches.

These is now a need for Camera systems that can take panoramic images that can be use a content for VR Headset such as the Samsung Gear VR, the HTC Vive and even the Facebook Oculus Rift.

Already Samsung, sensing the coming demand, has outed the Samsung Gear 360, a VR Camera for the very creative as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “How Samsung Gear 360 is a Creative Tool for YouTube VR Content”.  

Corephotonics dual-camera system isn't a panoramic camera system. Rather, it's mean to be a component module option for smartphone makers wishing to gift their photographer crowd that totes around a Smartphone another reason to use the camera for more professional photos. Their tech works by using two cameras:

1.      One fixed-focus telephoto with a narrow field of view
2.      One normal wide-angle camera

Currently Corephotonics has three (3) module versions of their dual-camera system:

1.      13-megapixel and an 8-megapixel camera
2.      2 13-megapixel cameras
3.      2 13-megapixel cameras called “Hawkeye”

The 13-megapixel and an 8-megapixel camera gives a maximum optical zoon of 5X without the loss of detail or increased pixellation. The second model has one of the 13-megapixel cameras being capable of filming in black and white only and is best for high contrast shots with lots of light and shadows. The Third combination, affectionately called Hawkeye, uses a proprietary tech in one of the 13-megapixel lens to achieve a 5x optical zoom and improved optical image stabilization.

Corephotonics dual-camera system combined with build in algorithms, would result in images with the following much desired properties among photographers:

1.      Higher resolution in close shots
2.      Noise reduction in low light
3.      Increased dynamic range
4.      Better Depth analysis

Expect Samsung's Exynos and Mediatek's processors to provide software support and integration into Smartphone makers that use their chips, expanding beyond their Qualcomm Snapdragon partnership, currently the only platform that's Corephotonics dual-camera system ready.

3D pictures, ready for VR with a high resolution and capable of near 5x zoom without pixilation is something that'll make photographers give the smartphone as a camera replacement a second look.


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