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

Sep 30, 2013 by 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: Intel, SGI test 3M fluids for cooling effects

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

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

2 hours ago

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

2 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

3 hours ago

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Dish Network denies wrongdoing in $2M settlement

13 hours ago

The state attorney general's office says Dish Network Corp. will reimburse Washington state customers about $2 million for what it calls a deceptive surcharge, but the satellite TV provider denies any wrongdoing.

Yahoo sees signs of growth in 'core' (Update)

13 hours ago

Yahoo reported a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit Tuesday, results hailed by chief executive Marissa Mayer as showing growth in the Web giant's "core" business.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

ESO image: A study in scarlet

This new image from ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that ...

First direct observations of excitons in motion achieved

A quasiparticle called an exciton—responsible for the transfer of energy within devices such as solar cells, LEDs, and semiconductor circuits—has been understood theoretically for decades. But exciton movement within ...

Warm US West, cold East: A 4,000-year pattern

Last winter's curvy jet stream pattern brought mild temperatures to western North America and harsh cold to the East. A University of Utah-led study shows that pattern became more pronounced 4,000 years ago, ...