Qualcomm's 2nd gen spectra ISP will take smartphone camera to next level

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In what could be exciting news for the future of cameras on Android smartphones, Qualcomm has announced an expansion to its Spectra™ Module Program. The next-generation ISPs feature a new camera architecture designed for advancements in computer vision, image quality and power efficiency for the next Snapdragon Mobile and VR Platforms. Qualcomm is working on in its next-generation Snapdragon mobile chipset.

Qualcomm on Tuesday unveiled new Spectra ISPs and camera modules with depth sensing and infrared capabilities, claiming that this is the first depth sensing camera technology designed for the Android ecosystem.

Qualcomm unveiled 2nd gen spectra ISP, the combination of hardware and software can help to produce 3D photos in smartphones.

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Apple's new ARKit augmented reality technology has taken the smartphone world by storm, if only in terms of mindshare rather than actual application. Of these, two are designed specifically to boost the camera's depth sensing prowess. When the object is closer, disparity will be larger. The premium computer vision kit is capable of active depth sensing which was demoed through a video. The IR illuminator will fire a light that makes use of a filter to create a dot pattern. The company says this shooter will be able to detect "liveness" so you won't be able to trick it by holding up a picture of a person's eyes like the Samsung Galaxy S8's camera. The regular camera can then pitch in to shoot a 3D image instantly. Since it is uses infrared light, it functions accurately even in the dark. The camera module program additions consist of a trio of camera modules, including an iris authentication module, a passive depth sensing module, and an active depth sensing module.

The camera modules arrive as an expansion to the Qualcomm Spectra Module Program introduced past year (responsible for the aforementioned Clear Sight tech).

Qualcomm says we'll be seeing the new and improved technology in their next generation of Snapdragon processors, so expect to see this in your next flagship smartphone next year.

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