updated 06:44 am EST, Thu December 27, 2012
Camera module to allow images with all subjects in focus
Toshiba is working on a camera sensor for mobile devices for post-shot image focusing, potentially allowing viewers to change the focus of a photograph while it is being viewed. . The camera module can apparently take images similar to the Lytro light field camera, but shrinks down the process from Lytro's 4-inch camera to a sensor a cubic centimeter in size.
The module uses an array of 500,000 lenses in front of an image sensor, mimicking the eye of an insect. As each lens captures a different image, the camera can then take various sections and create a collage as a final viewable image. The camera module can also measure the distance to objects in its field of view by comparing similar images, in a manner similar to that of a dual-lens camera creating 3D imagery, according to The Asahi Shimbun. The final model is hoped to not only take images with an after-the-fact variable focal point, but also images where everything in the photograph is in focus, with video also a possibility.
It is hoped that plans to commercialize the module will be in motion by the end of the 2013 fiscal year.