February 4, 2010
I have a Nokia N95 with a 5MP camera and a great Carl Zeiss lens but I cannot change the lens focus while shooting video so my videos can be blurry. I was excited to hear about LensVector, a Mountain View, California based start-up, is getting additional $50M funding from Institutional Venture Partners (IVP). IVP also announced this funding on their Twitter feed. Others who invested in the company include Samsung and Kodak. LensVector has developed breakthrough optical technology that can shape, steer and focus light without mechanical movement. Instead of the lens moving mechanically LensVector’s optical technology can shape, steer and focus light without mechanical movement.
In a press release LensVector CEO Derek Proudian says:
“LensVector is receiving tremendous response from handset customers that want small, energy-efficient, rugged autofocus solutions that can easily be integrated into their devices and mass manufactured at a competitive cost. Consumer demand for better picture quality, plus high-value applications like bar-code scanning and video, are key demand drivers,”
Take a look at the overview of LensVector AutoFocus (LVAF) http://www.lensvector.com/product.php. Don Clark says in a Wall Street Journal article titled “Focusing on the Lens Inside Phones”:
There is no shortage of companies working on cellphone cameras, in part because it is a big market. In 2009, research firm iSuppli estimates, 76% of the 1.13 billion cellphones shipped came with at least one built-in camera.
Cellphone makers have been improving camera resolution with image-sensor chips that can handle millions of pixels. But without a way to shift focus, the devices still don’t handle some chores well—particularly photos of faces or other objects at short distances.
The article also says that LensVector will manufacture these components in Mountain View, California rather than outsource them to China. Govenor Schwarzenegger must be very happy. I can’t wait for the phones that will carry this technology.
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