Following news that Nokia was investing in Pelican Imaging to help boost its already excellent Lumia cameras, comments from Pelican CEO, Chris Pickett, suggest an actual device with the plenoptic camera tech will arrive in 2014. Pickett didn’t specify which OEM would be first to market, but it’s not hard to surmise what firm it will be given Nokia’s recent investment. The technology is already being tested, Pickett said, who also shared some thoughts on Nokia’s PureView tech.
Pelican’s technology works by using 16 distinct lenses and imaging channels, with each sub-camera snapping only one color (red, green or blue). This, ultimately, helps remove noise traditional smartphone cameras capture due to “cross-talk,” while also recording 3D depth information. Combine this with software wizardry, and Pelican’s tech can take advantage of some Lytro-like focusing abilities.
So, what if Pelican’s array camera was mixed with some of Nokia’s PureView? We don’t quite know what the results will be just yet. But we imagine the new system will produce some pretty wonderful results. “There are some synergies that will lead to some pretty exciting possibilities that we’re actually beginning to work on today, although I can’t talk about it yet,” said Pelican’s CTO, Kartik Venkataraman.
The potential synergies Venkataraman could be hinting at is the possibility of more intelligent image stabilization. Nokia bet big on the Lumia 920’s floating lens stabilization, and fusing that with Pelican’s system could result in some very crisp, smooth images. Because the array system has so many lenses, the system can detect different degrees of motion at different distances, which can then be corrected individually, Engadget explained.
Smartphone cameras are no longer added afterthoughts, and companies are making concerted efforts to improve technology. Nokia has proved it is a cut above the rest, and it sounds like its reputation will grow even further with the help of Pelican.