News by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday December 24, 2013.
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Smartphone manufacturers have been using bigger megapixels and software gimmicks to get an edge with their device cameras, but Toshiba is developing a new camera module that phone makers will be able to use for practical things like removing unwanted objects or refocusing images.
The TCM9518MD is actually two cameras working in concert. The module has a pair of 1/4-inch 5-megapixel CMOS sensors that can generate 13-megapixel photos. With the right software, the dual camera solution can be put in smartphones or tablets to support simultaneous output of depth data. In the other words, it can be used to focus or defocus an image when a user wants to emphasize a specific area of a photo.
There's also an "extract and erase objects" feature that can remove people or things from a photo. So if someone photobombs your group photo, the camera can remove the unwanted object. Samsung has used a similar feature in its software, but Toshiba makes it possible to use for other devices.
Toshiba first announced the TCM9518MD earlier this year and has updated its timeline to say that sample shipments will arrive to customers in January 2014. No one knows exactly when the dual camera module will appear in devices, but don't be surprised if the phone you purchase in spring 2014 features a TCM9518MD.source: Business Wire, via: Slash Gear
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.