Scientists have devised a smartphone camera with high-quality zoom capabilities.
Professor David Mendlovic of Tel Aviv University's School of Electrical Engineering and his former doctoral student Dr Gal Shabtay, who together established a startup called Corephotonics, are developing a cutting-edge lightweight cellular camera that uses a two-lens approach to produce sharper images.
Smartphone pictures lack the focus of standard snaps because a cellular camera features a digital zoom that manipulates images electronically, as opposed to a lens that manipulates them optically.
A conventional zoom requires a relatively thick lens, which would weigh down a smartphone.
Researchers have devised a lightweight two-lens camera with two fields of visionbroad and close, and narrow and distant, 'phys.org' reported.
The two lenses combine images from the two fields of vision, fusing them into one sharply defined picture.
"Our technology provides up to three times the zoom factor, has improved low-light performance, and can fit into compact dimensions," said Mendlovic.
"We used three novel approaches: a unique lens design that enables the high zoom factor in a compact size, an algorithm for achieving a continued zoom factor, and an technique that enables compact and efficient micro-mechanics in the camera," said Mendlovic.
Corephotonics has designed the hardware and software for the smartphone camera and has already sold the blueprint to one device manufacturer.
"The first handset with our technology will be available on the market in the first quarter of 2015," said Mendlovic.