Acquisition means cleverer cameras on Nokia smart phones
Today Nokia has announced the completion of its acquisition of technologies, developers and intellectual property from Scalado. But why should Nokia fans be excited?
Well: the precise details of the deal are secret. And will probably remain so until they emerge into products.
However, Nokia’s Samuli Hanninen, VP, software program management, was able to share some of the bigger picture around where we plan to take camera phones next.
“We think that imaging is about to go through another major revolution,” he told Conversations.
“Nokia has always been a leader in camera phone technology, from its first camera phone, the Nokia 7650 in 2002, to the first autofocus 12-megapixel camera phone with the Nokia N8, to the huge step forward that came with PureView technology, its unique oversampling and lossless zoom.
“But if you think about it, 100 years ago the early pioneers such as Kodak defined how pictures are taken. A lot has changed in terms of technology, but the basic premise has stayed the same. It has just been about doing the same thing in different ways.
“We’re now at the point where things can change radically. It’s our ambition that phones will be able to capture emotions and distill memories to a far greater extent than they do today.
“One example is the way phones can enrich photos with contextual data. It can know the who, what, where and when behind every picture and use that intelligently. My grandmother used to write notes on the back of the photos in her album – where they were and when; who was there and what they were doing. The power of smartphones can build that into the pictures themselves and offer new ways to relive your memories.
“We can also change the way in which you capture memories. We’re talking about ‘recapturing’ moments. Your photos can contain so much information that you can go back and make new pictures that are completely different, in non-destructive ways – maybe focused on the sunset that was behind your girlfriend’s shoulder in the original.”
The staff joining from Scalado will form a new centre for imaging excellence in Lund, Sweden, alongside the clever folk based in Nokia’s Tampere and Espoo imaging teams who came up with PureView. The Lund team will focus on software to complement the existing hardware genius from the Finnish teams.
The expected results are perhaps best expressed as an equation:
PV + SC = PV^2
Though the latest and greatest camera phones might seem like they’re perfect, we really have only just begun.
It’s hard to imagine what the next generation of Nokia camera phones might be capable of. What do you hope will be the next big innovation?