Qualcomm Will Bring Lytro-Style Focus Selection To Mobile Photos With New Snapdragon Chips

Qualcomm showed off some of the magic powers of its latest mobile processors at CES this year, and many of the new features on display had to do with mobile cameras. The Qualcomm 805, announced back in November, will offer smartphone shooters some powerful new tools once it starts making its way into shipping phones later this year.

The most impressive new feature is the ability to select focus after a picture is captured. You can either put everything into sharp focus for incredible depth of field, or choose one point and throw the rest into attractive, soft focus for pleasing bokeh. You may recognize this tech; it’s similar to how the Lytro light field camera works.

The Lytro captures its images differently, however, which accounts for its elongated design. Qualcomm has managed to do all the heavy lifting by capturing multiple exposures in rapid succession, using existing camera hardware. That means it’ll be simple to build it into upcoming smartphones.

Besides focus selection, Qualcomm’s chip can also power intelligent lighting and exposure correction, as well as help with making sure that flash photos don’t appear too washed out or unnatural looking. All-in-all, Qualcomm is doing a great job bringing to market tech that seemed to be many years out only just recently, and it’ll be great to see how OEMs employ this tech in their products in 2014.