Toshiba's dual-camera system enables second-chance manipulations

Sep 30, 2013 by Nancy Owano report
Toshiba's dual-camera system enables second-chance manipulations
Dual camera module, "TCM9518MD", enabling simultaneous output of images and depth data. Credit: Toshiba

(Phys.org) —Smartphone cameras are taking on advanced features as smartphone vendors continue to compete for sales. Toshiba last week announced a dual camera system that will be a talking point in mobile devices at some time in the future. Toshiba last Thursday announced a dual camera system "TCM9518MD" that brings deep focus imaging to smartphones. The camera will provide capabilities for deep focus and post-focus, in contrast with cameras where the picture taker needs to focus on objects before snapping, with no such second chance to make adjustments. The Toshiba camera system in mobile devices will enable manipulations to change the depth of field and point of focus.

Toshiba's system uses two 1/4-inch 5Mpixel CMOS image sensors that are placed side-by-side, recording depth and images at the same time. Toshiba highlighted this in its product announcement, referring to the product's new "depth map" and "deep focus image" capabilities.

"The TCM9518MD's twin cameras and dedicate companion LSI simultaneously deliver deep focus images in which foreground and background and all points in between are in focus, with depth data on each object in the image. This supports creation of new applications for smartphone, tablets and mobile devices, including refocus, defocus and extraction of any objects of the images, and gesture operation."

Toshiba will start to ship samples of the module for smartphones and tablet computers in January next year, and the company intends to mass-produce the system in April next year at a rate of 500,000 units per month.

In its statement, Toshiba noted that "Computational cameras create images impossible to realize with the standard camera module by combining optical hardware technology—the lens and diaphragm—with digital signal processing technology. The TCM9518MD brings high resolution and computational camera functionalities to the CMOS market for smartphones, tablets and ."

News sites carrying the announcement referred to the new module as a Lytro-like camera phone. They are talking about the Lytro camera, which Mountain View, California-based Lytro introduced in 2011. Lytro describes itself as the creator of the world's first consumer light field camera. The company said the 's user and friends can "endlessly refocus pictures after you take them."

Explore further: Technology turns eyewear into a smart device capable of displaying visual information

More information: Press release

Related Stories

Toshiba smartphone camera sensor has eye on future

Dec 28, 2012

(Phys.org)—Toshiba may be targeting the end of 2013 for the launch of a new camera sensor for smartphones and tablets, where the picture taker can choose a specific area of focus in the photo after having ...

Your next phone camera might be able to sense depth

Apr 12, 2013

The camera in your smartphone may soon have a new trick: depth perception. Toshiba, Samsung and Silicon Valley startup Pelican Imaging are developing image sensors and software that would allow cameras to detect the distance ...

Retailers to add radical 'focus later' camera

Sep 25, 2012

A radical camera that lets users adjust the focus after taking pictures will be available in October at shops in Australia, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States.

Recommended for you

Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

8 hours ago

Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. It wasn't about hacking. It was about the company's struggling tablet business.

Off-world manufacturing is a go with space printer

12 hours ago

On Friday, the BBC reported on a NASA email exchange with a space station which involved astronauts on the International Space Station using their 3-D printer to make a wrench from instructions sent up in ...

Cadillac CT6 will get streaming video mirror

13 hours ago

Cadillac said Thursday it will add high resolution streaming video to the function of a rearview mirror, so that the driver's vision and safety can be enhanced. The technology will debut on the 2016 Cadillac ...

Sony faces 4th ex-employee lawsuit over hack

13 hours ago

A former director of technology for Sony Pictures Entertainment has sued the company over the data breach that resulted in the online posting of his private financial and personal information.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.