Saturday, March 27, 2010

Go-Go Gadget: Quantum Leap...

...for cellphone cameras. Menlo Park, California based company InVisage Technologies, has spent the past several years developing a proprietary film that coats the image sensors used in cellphone cameras enabling them to capture more light. The film utilizes a semiconductor material called a quantum dot.

One of the biggest problems with cellphone cameras now is their performance in low light. Currently, image sensors in cellphone cameras use silicon to capture light, which is then processed to create a picture. Companies making these sensors have run into problems as they keep trying to advance them so that they can absorb more light.

Up until now, advancement in using quantum dots for other applications has been difficult, but InVisage believes they've found a "secret recipe" that will enable them to make cellphone cameras perform four times better within two years.

"With such technology, the current three-megapixel camera found in the Apple iPhone could be turned into a 12-megapixel camera that works better in varying light conditions", a spokesman for the company said.

Will this be the beginning of the end for stand alone point-and-shoots? Doubtful, but it does seem like there may be a big leap in cellphone camera technology in the near future.


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