Nokia is planning on making an investment in U.S. Pelican Imaging, a California startup developing Lytro-like camera technology for smartphones and other mobile devices.
In case you are not familiar with the Lytro camera, it basically allows you to focus after you snap an image. This frees you from worrying about where to focus and basically means your whole picture will always be in focus. You can choose to selectively focus on an area after you have taken the image.
To achieve that Pelican Imaging is developing an array of sensors that capture the same picture and adds a sprinkle of software magic on top to achieve the Lytro-like effect quickly. We have also seen a software-only approach in apps like FocusTwist but those come with a lot of limitations - objects in the picture should not be moving and it takes a while to shoot the image. Pelican’s technology is more advanced in that sense.
Nokia has the longest history in cameraphones of all handset manufacturers. Most recently, it released the industry leading 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView, a Symbian smartphone with a huge sensor, and theNokia Lumia 920 with best-in-class optical image stabilization and enhanced low light performance. Nokia’s upcoming cameraphone is said to feature a mixture of the advances made in those two devices.