Is Nokia Investing in Lytro-Style Camera Tech for Phones?

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Bloomberg is reporting that Nokia is planning to invest in a Californian startup that creates Lytro-style camera technology slim enough to squeeze into a mobile phone.

The company in question is Pelican Imaging, which produces a complex sensor array and combines it with algorithmic processing to allow users to adjust an image's focus after it has been captured. That means that it can do without the extra lens required by Lytro's light field technique, making it possible to squeeze into a phone, but also provides far better results than the software-only option recently shown off in FocusTwist.

Nokia has a bit of a love affair with fancy cameras: first it put out the wild 41-megapixel 808 PureView, then it made a big deal about the image stabilisation features of the Lumia 920. Now, rumour has it that the two will mesh, with a full-on PureView camera reportedly making an appearance in a Lumia handset soon.

The addition of a Lytro-style camera system to that arsenal sounds promising, but only if Nokia can make it genuinely useful. Otherwise, it could turn out to be yet another photographic gimmick — that fails to help sell a single phone. [Bloomberg via Verge]