Recognition: Robert Triggs / Android Authority
- A new company called Metalenz says it will revolutionize smartphone cameras with its proprietary technology.
- The company’s technology can emulate today’s multi-lens smartphone camera systems with just one lens.
- If that’s all the company says it has the potential to significantly reduce the thickness of the rear camera bumps on phones.
One thing we’ve all noticed over the years is how big the camera bumps are these days. Although companies can find clever ways to make them appear smaller (e.g., Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series side-mount modules), physics will always constrain them.
Connected: Why are the bumps on the smartphone camera so big?
Without getting too technical, the reason for this is that camera bumps are so thick that multiple lenses have to be stacked on top of each other to create the high quality images we have come to expect from phones. These stacked lenses require a protruding bump from the back of the phone. The only way to reduce the bumps is to remove lenses and lower the image quality.
However, a new company called Metalenz has found a way around this. The company just announced told the story Wired that it designed a flat lens out of tiny nanostructures. These nanostructures bend light independently of each other, so no stacked lenses are required.
Metalenz already has a smartphone partnership
While Metalenz hasn’t fully proven its claims yet, it certainly sounds like an exciting development. The company says it has already partnered with a smartphone OEM whose tech land is slated to land in a phone this year. Unfortunately, the company did not disclose this manufacturer.
Interestingly, this new technology should be easy to manufacture. One of the big problems with innovative solutions to smartphone problems is scaling. Sure, someone can find a way to wirelessly charge a phone from a great distance, but if this technology isn’t feasible to manufacture and sell, what is the use?
According to Metalenz, the single lens solution can be made using the same equipment as other semiconductor products. In fact, it already has partnerships with two industry leaders who could manufacture a million of its lenses a day. Again, the company has not disclosed the names of these partners.
What do you think? Would you buy a smartphone with a novel lens system if it reduced the size of the rear bump? Answer our survey above!