Aptina, a company specializing in image-based solutions, has developed a number of 1.1-micron pixel based sensors that enable smartphone devices to capture ultra high definition 4K video and images. The images can allegedly be taken under any lighting settings and contain “incredibly fine” details that rival those captured by digital still cameras.
The strength of Alpina’s unique sensors is known to be derived from the company’s 3rd generation Aptina A-PixHS and 4th generation Aptina MobileHDR technology, the combination of which allows for both high-speed and superior low light performances and enables a smartphone camera’s dynamic range to be increased by as many as 24 decibels (DB). A few other important features made possible by the sensors include the ability to play full-field “color rich” videos, display enhanced electronic images, enable 3D motion capturing, and support computational array imaging. Tetsuo Omori of Techno System Research has hailed the technology developed by Alpina as a “significant driver in the mobile industry over the next four years” and a “dominant form factor for designers of mid to high-end smartphones.”
While the availability of the 4K format is certain to generate many exciting opportunities, it’s still a bit early to tell whether and when the technology will actually hit the mainstream. One potential challenge smartphone makers will undoubtedly face is finding ways to include enough space on their handsets to permit the storage of 4K images and video.
Those curious about what 4K quality looks like can check out the movies Oblivion–currently in theaters everywhere–and M.Night. Shyamalan’s After Earth.