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A New Lens Technology Is Primed to Jump-Start Phone Cameras

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A New Lens Technology Is Primed to Jump-Start Phone Cameras

Photograph: Olly Curtis / Getty Images. Article by Julian Chokkattu. Wired – February 4, 2021.

The optics in your smartphone have been pretty much the same for more than a decade. That’s about to change.

The camera on the first iPhone way back in 2007 was a mere 2 megapixels. And it only had a rear camera; there wasn’t even a front-facing selfie shooter. Today, you’ll find multiple cameras on the front and back of phones—some of them with sensors as large as 108 megapixels, like the biggest camera on Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra.

But while the sensor size and megapixel counts of smartphone cameras have increased considerably in the past decade—not to mention improvements in computational photography software—the lenses that help capture photos remain fundamentally unchanged.

A new company called Metalenz, which emerges from stealth mode today, is looking to disrupt smartphone cameras with a single, flat lens system that utilizes a technology called optical metasurfaces. […]

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