This year we witnessed a majority of leading smartphone OEMs include dual camera setups on their flagships – Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus, LG G5, Huawei P9, and more. However, each of them is using a native and independent hardware for processing the captured shots. Now, Qualcomm, the manufacturer responsible for most phones’ processor out there, has introduced a new dual-lens package – Clear Sight which can be implemented on any smartphone or tablet as long as it’s running Snapdragon 820 or 821 SoC.
The intention is to deliver and ease the process of adding dual-cameras on products through a universal technology. Clear Sight is developed based on the way humans’ visualize surroundings – using cones and rods. While the former is detecting colors and details, latter is absorbing light particles. The approach is fundamentally identical to what Huawei has done with the P9, you can read more about it here. Clear Sight will, as a result, utilize two separate camera sensors with same focal length and aperture for mimicking the purpose of cones and rods. Together, both the cameras will be able to click better pictures with considerably accurate color accuracy especially in low light conditions. Furthermore, Qualcomm also promises enhanced noise handling and detailed images.
The post-processing is being handled by a dual-ISP (Image Signal Processor), Spectra embedded inside Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 and Snapdragon 821 chipsets. Qualcomm believes that they can ameliorate the proliferation of dual-camera systems through this. They’ve added support in the past for dual-lens setup for better refocusing, however, that was at a minor level. There are currently no handsets released with this new technology, though, Qualcomm’s partners are expected to showcase new devices with Clear Sight in 2017. With Apple’s ingress into the dual camera league, interest is likely to grow more from here. It is also possible that these type of optics arrangement might arrive in budget phones if Qualcomm manages to extend the functionality to other chipsets as well.