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Nokia is said to be planning an investment in Pelican Imaging as it seeks to further enhance the capabilities of its smartphone cameras. Based in California, Pelican Imaging is startup developing a Lytro-style camera technology that uses an array of small 'plenoptic' cameras in a single module to take images with multiple focal points. As the video embedded below highlights, the technology allows a smartphone user to take a photo and refocus the image on different focal points after the shot is taken.
As Apple's recent iPhone ads emphasize, the quality of a smartphone camera is a significant factor when users choose their smartphone, especially as smartphones have increasingly come to replace compact cameras for people when on the go. According to Nokia Growth Partners Bo Ilsoe, the Pelican has the software that will help to bring the technology to market in the near term. "It's very complicated to do this algorithmically and Pelican is one of the companies that has mastered this technology," Ilsoe told Bloomberg.
While may have had its troubles trying to gain traction in the mobile space with its choice of Windows Phone as its operating system, its hardware and design has generally remained a point of strength. It pushed the boundaries of smartphone camera technology with the PureView 808 smartphone that featured a 41-megapixel camera. While it works on refining the Pelican Imaging technology for its own devices, it is rumored to be working on a true PureView Lumia device with similar imaging technology it used in the 808.