Computational Optics Improves Smartphone Pictures

Tourist couple on travel taking pictures by Coliseum in Rome. Ha

Smartphone cameras have improved substantially over the years, but they still need some enhancement to be considered replacements for traditional cameras. The small size of the overall device makes most smartphone cameras lack in detail production and optical qualities. But a Canadian start-up known as Algolux is looking to change all of that.

Algolux is not trying to change smartphone cameras. According to Digital Trends, it works with sophisticated software algorithms to improve the way cameras process the images which the lenses pick up. This happens through what the company calls “computational optics.”

One feature in Algolux’s technology is the improvement of detail reproduction and sharpness in smartphone pictures. The program maps the optical shortcomings of a certain smartphone’s camera, and then it uses that information to fill in the blanks. Algolux will recover details that would normally be lost in a photo to dramatically improve the clarity of an image.

Algolux also offers image stabilization, which shifts either optical elements of the lens or the sensor of the camera to keep an image as straight as possible. Image stabilization is available on a number of smartphone models, but it is not extremely successful. Algolux’s technology uses the phone’s front-facing camera and motion sensor to correct micro-movements that cause blurred images.

Algolux recently earned more than $2.6 million in funding, and the company hopes to see its software in smartphones as early as next year.

About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.