Toshiba Building New Lytro-like Refocusing Camera For Smartphones

By Khurram Aziz email: k.aziz@mobilenapps.com | Dec 27, 2012 07:42 PM EST

Toshiba is putting into production a new camera sensor for smartphones, which will let you refocus you images after you've taken them, much like the Lytro camera.

However, while the Lytro is over four inches long, Toshiba's new camera is reportedly only a 1cm cube, making it perfect for smartphones and tablets.

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The news was first reported on Japanese site Asahi Shinbun, which says the camera will house an array of 500,000 lenses each 0.03 millimeter in diameter, in front of an image sensor measuring 5mm x 7mm.

The camera takes its inspiration from the way insects' eyes are structured and will also allow you to take videos with the same post-shooting refocusing ability. Conventional cameras require you to focus on an object first before capturing it.

The Lyotro camera was first introduced in 2011 giving photographers the ability to shoot an image first and focus afterwards. Toshiba is hoping to be the first company to commercialize the same technology for smartphones and tablets by the end of the fiscal year 2013.

The Japanese firm is looking for manufacturing partners to add the camera to their devices, although there are no reports which phones will become the first to support the new imaging unit.

The news follows reports from earlier today of Toshiba's plans for a 20-megapixel CMOS image sensor for point and shoot cameras.

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