Last week, the mems|cam camera module for smartphones made by DigitalOptics became extra famous as it was linked to a rumor surrounding Google’s upcoming next Nexus phone, potentially dubbed Nexus 5. We were quick to shoot the report down, as the story seemed like nothing more than media jumping to a wild conclusion or assumption. As it turns out, we were right. DigitalOptics announced this morning that their mems|cam module will first be featured exclusively in upcoming phones made by Oppo. In fact, Oppo is the first OEM partner to place a volume purchase order for the mems|cam. In other words, LG and Google have not joined forces with DigitalOptics.
Also, the press release for this news mentions in its closing remarks that “several technology news blogs reported that mems|cam was first being brought to market in another smartphone platform. Those reports were inaccurate.” Sorry, folks, no mems|cam in the next Nexus.
For those not familiar, the mems|cam is actually quite the interesting camera module that we hope more OEMs decide to pick up for their future phones. A mems|cam captures 6 consecutive images in a matter of seconds from different focus zones and then stores them as a single file. This allows you to later refocus the photo as you see fit, similar to what you can do with a Lytro camera. Granted, the technology used is completely different, but the end result produces a similar experience. All you have to do is tap around on objects in the finished photo, and the picture will refocus on the fly. Outside of refocusing after the fact, the mems|cam also features an insanely fast autofocus.
SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–October 08, 2013–
DigitalOptics Corporation (DOC(TM)), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tessera Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSRA) announced today that Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd (OPPO), a leading Chinese smartphone OEM, has placed the first mems|cam(TM) volume production purchase order.
The mems|cam module provides speed, power, and precision advantages compared to VCM (voice coil motor) camera modules and enables highly differentiated features when coupled with DOC’s world-class software.
“We are proud to announce that OPPO and DOC are exclusive launch partners. OPPO will be the first smartphone OEM to incorporate mems|cam products in volume,” stated John Thode, president of DigitalOptics Corporation. “OPPO has an excellent premium brand in China as demonstrated by the September 23 launch of the innovative N1 Smartphone platform. Integrating mems|cam modules into OPPO’s best-in-class smartphones will bring an exciting computational imaging user experience that further delivers on OPPO’s brand promise.”
There has been speculation on who would be the first to bring the significant benefits of mems|cam to the mobile imaging market. Last week, several technology news blogs reported that mems|cam was first being brought to market in another smartphone platform. Those reports were inaccurate.