The Upgrade Your Smartphone is Craving

The synergy of many advancing technologies, from artificial intelligence to 3-D or hologram viewing, is increasingly being controlled and managed from the palm of your hand.

Consider your phone’s camera…

It isn’t just for snapping memories of Aunt Martha’s birthday party or the kids at Six Flags any more.

Pros use smartphone cameras on assignment. Artists use them to create gallery works.

Now, with new apps and attachments, your smartphone camera is becoming a tool for everyone from architects to high-tech manufacturers.

There’s a growing menu of attachable assets…

Leading optics makers such as Zeiss now offer clip-on lenses to expand your photo options.

The same wide-angle, zoom and specialty lenses that are standard fare for full-size cameras are now available to smartphone shutterbugs.

The lenses come with a harness that holds them in just the right place over the eye of your phone’s camera.

You’re not even limited to two dimensions. A company called Occipital in San Francisco makes an iPhone attachment that will take a 3-D photo of anything.

It can be used by architects and interior designers to take a 3-D photo of a room, with all of its colors, and transfer that to a computer where different designs can be tried out in virtual reality.

Occipital’s Structure Sensor also can be used to scan any object or person. The scan can be transferred to a 3-D printer and a “hard copy” of the object can be run off in plastic, metal or a combination of materials. The scan also can be used to create computer-aided designs for mass manufacture.

Plus, smartphone cameras themselves are starting to sport sophisticated new features.

LG makes one with a regular lens and also a separate wide-angle lens. Some cameras let you adjust the focus manually or choose between color or black-and-white pictures.

HTC and others offer the ability to create special effects, such as blurred backgrounds to highlight a sharply focused object at the front of the picture. More and more cameras include image stabilization, which eliminates blur when a camera moves as a photo is being snapped.

Pixels — the little dots of color that together form a photo image — are a particular challenge. Because the lens is so small, the pixels have to be small to make the picture sharp. Some are only a thousandth of an inch across.

That leaves room for visual “noise” that can render a photo less sharp. Samsung and other makers are working hard to screen out that noise.

Still, even with these advances, many insiders now wonder if smartphone cameras are as good as they’re going to get.

Upgrading those little lenses and optics systems will require investment in research, development and the manufacture of parts with microscopically fine tolerances.

In short, there’s truly disruptive technology on the horizon for what your phone can do and how well it can do it.

We’ll have more to report on this topic soon…

Till next time,

Gerald Celente
for The Daily Reckoning

The Daily Reckoning