Apple and HTC in race to put light field cameras in your smartphone

The infinite depth photos of light field cameras could soon be in your pocket – but will iPhone or Android get them first?

Light field cameras – which let you adjust the focus of photos after they've been taken – could soon be adapted to appear in HTC smartphones.

According to DigiTimes, Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute has set up an R&D team working on light field camera tech – and HTC has been in touch to find out if it's possible to fit light field cameras into smartphones.

Apple is also investigating light field camera technology – Steve Jobs was in contact with light field camera manufacturer Lytro, according to Adam Lashinsky’s book Inside Apple. No doubt seeing Steve go for it has led to HTC’s recent enquiries into the technology.

But there's a way to go before Lytro tech finds its way into your pocket – it takes a lot of PC power to process light field images, which smartphones, apparently, aren’t yet capable of.

Still, there's reason to be optimistic – cloud processing can already render powerful PC games on your mobile, so why not allow live rendering of your light field snaps too? Maybe Ridley Scott's Blade Runner was right, and we'll soon be enhancing all our photos on the fly.

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