Qualcomm has revealed details about its camera processing technology and some new camera modules, for smartphones and VR headsets, that will arrive alongside the next flagship Snapdragon processor platform for Android smartphones.
Qualcomm's camera advancements fall under the Spectra umbrella, which comprises the Spectra Module Program and Spectra ISPs (Image Signal Processors). The Module Program was only introduced in 2016 and gave smartphone manufacturers a quick and easy way to fit dual cameras to their smartphones by providing ready made cameras, saving manufacturers time developing their own.
The program is now being expanded with new modules that will provide better depth of field effects and improved biometric authentication, or iris recognition to me and you. Qualcomm's new technology is able to read how close an object is to the camera, and subsequently map out a 3D object. It does this by placing a dot filter over the object - invisible to you - and mapping how the dots adjust to the object's shape.
These modules will launch alongside Qualcomm's improved image processing technology that will be able to dramatically reduce noise levels in photos, ideal in low-light, and better electronic image stabilisation, to minimise motion blur.
Qualcomm says its new Spectra ISP is well setup to be used for augmented and virtual reality thanks to its "high-performance motion tracking capabilities and simultaneous optimised localisation and mapping (SLAM)".
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Both the new ISPs and camera modules will arrive alongside the next flagship Snapdragon SoC, although Qualcomm hasn't said when that will be. Going on previous releases, it will be in flagship phones in 2018.