Nokia already sets the standard when it comes to photography on camera phones, and some of that is thanks to NGP (Nokia Growth Partners). NGP has worked hard to bring in external innovation and ecosystem partners through venture investments.
NGP has invested in a number of different companies since 2006, helping to drive and support businesses that are changing the face of technology and communications. The mobile imaging space is one that NGP has embraced more than most, and there are some impressive advances in camera phone technology on the way as a result.
Pelican Imaging is the latest company to receive an investment from NGP. Compared to Carl Zeiss, Pelican may be a relative newcomer to the photography market, but the Californian company has already developed its own clever image processing technology.
The Pelican technology, based on combining signals from arrays of sensors, enables very slim camera modules with the ability to capture depth and stereo information. The user will effectively be able to change focus of individual objects after taking a photograph. Thanks to intelligent software they can even remove unwanted objects.
The technology can also combine regular image sensing with infrared, meaning images can be shot literally in the dark without the need for a flash. Check out the technology in action.
InVisage is another exciting imaging company already in NGP’s investment portfolio. It’s developing new image sensing technology that has the potential to deliver smartphone image sensors that boast a resolution of hundreds of millions of pixels – better than the human eye. It means that photographs could be sharper, clearer and better than ever before.
The technology doesn’t end there either. Thanks to an investment in a company called Luminate, images are being made a lot smarter. With 3D information, geolocation, time of day, weather, tags for the people in the photographs – future photographs will be a lot more intelligent. Luminate can help to categorise and catalogue all that information, and we will see common image formats being replaced by new standards and file formats capable of handling it all.
It’s clear that NGP has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest imaging technologies then, and it’s exciting to see the trends that are developing in the smartphone camera world thanks to NGP’s investments. We can’t wait to see what’s next.