Nokia is reportedly all set to invest in camera imaging startup company called Pelican, which has mastered Lytro-style array camera technology.
Bloomberg reveals that the venture capital arm of Nokia, Nokia Growth Partners, intends to invest in Pelican Imaging in a bid to differentiate the Finnish giant from the likes of Apple.
Bo Ilsoe, a partner at Nokia Growth Partners, revealed that his company had been tracking Pelican since it was founded in 2008. He said that the algorithms required as part of array camera software were “very complicated to do,” but that “Pelican is one of the companies that has mastered this technology.”
Like Lytro (pictured below), the unusual telescope-like camera that was launched towards the end of 2011, Pelican’s technology allows you to change the focus of shots after the picture has been taken.
This is because the camera incorporates a number of small optics rather than a single large lens. The result is that depth information is captured at every pixel, thus allowing you to handle focusing at the editing stage the way you currently crop and sharpen your snaps.
Of course, the fact that there’s no bulky lens means that this technology could be made considerably more compact than current standards, which has obvious applications for smartphone usage.
Whilst the Nokia 808 PureView provided class-leading camera performance, it was widely criticised for its bulky and unwieldy dimensions. The Nokia Lumia 920 also features a strong camera, but again has been pulled up for its chunkiness.
Array camera technology could be the next key innovation in Nokia’s bid to provide the perfect mass market camera-phone – and to return the brand to its former market dominance.