Consumers demand slim smartphones and that limits the ability for the built-in camera to zoom in for a good picture. Most smartphones rely on digital zoom, which uses pre-installed software to enlarge the object on which the lens is focused. A new innovation from DynaOptics may eliminate this limitation with a new camera lens that moves sideways to zoom, rather than forward and backward.
The optical zoom from DynaOptics works through a progressive lens that overlaps layers of magnified lenses, similar to what you see in bifocals. This option will work well in the tight confines of a smartphone because it does not require the zoom to project outward.
The company, a startup from Singapore, aims to have lenses available for testing early next year, with complete integration into devices by the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016. CEO and cofounder Li Han Chan says many people have already replaced their point and shoot cameras with their smartphones, and having the option for optical zoom will create an even larger audience.
The cameras are currently being designed for smartphones, but Chan says there are many other uses for these cameras in the future. Smartphones are just the most adaptable and most widely used application at this time.