Remember Lytro? It’s that remarkable camera technology that allows you to tune the focus of your shots after you’ve already taken them. This is a very nice piece of technology, and while most purists would scoff at anyone who can’t get tack-sharp focus during composition there are a ton more who would want the ability to properly focus a bad shot. After all, you can’t get every shot you want to be perfect every time.
Well, what if I told you this technology could be coming to a smartphone near you? Toshiba is said to be working on a miniature lens with these capabilities, and is set to feature them in its smartphones and tablets starting sometime next year as well as license the technology to other smartphone and tablet OEMs The camera sensor reportedly houses an array of 500,000 micro-sensors which will capture a series of images that can later be manipulated in Toshiba’s own-built software.
Users would be able to tweak the focus of a shot using the software — you can focus either near or far, or bring the entire scene into perfect focus. The ability to manipulate video in this manner is also said to be possible, though we’re not yet sure to what extent.
While miniature camera lenses will never be a mainstay in the world of professional photography, having these sensors will provide very compelling feature-sets for any manufacturer who decides to take Toshiba up on its offer. Most users whose only cameras are their smartphones tend to take horrible photos, so the ability to advertise these types of features in a marketing campaign will go a long way toward adding a few more sales (and should help the eyes of the world even more).