Huawei & Leica: The future of dual camera technology in the Smartphone Industry
The age of digital photography is currently at its peak, and continues to grow even faster with the emergence of innovations brought about by mobile devices. Contrary to the previous trend of high-quality cameras packed with heavy duty equipment, the name of the game in today’s field of photography is handiness brought about by the massive popularity of smartphones.
As the market’s interest in digital photography continues to grow, many of the big names in the tech industry are quick to make the most out of this trend. Global consumer electronics leader Samsung have been reported to invest approximately USD13.4B over the past two years in research and development (R&D) of its core technologies, making it as the second largest company in terms of R&D investment and even outdoing its rival, Apple. A huge bulk of these technologies is comprised of camera engineering, a feature that has helped the tech giant cement its reputation as one of the major players in the industry.
Fellow tech brand Huawei decided to foster a partnership with another tech game changer to gain advantage over its competitors. In April 2016, the Chinese tech firm unveiled the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus to the global market. Both phones boast of dual-lens cameras co-engineered with the number one premium camera manufacturer, Leica. These two cameras are created to serve different but complementary functions: one being RBG with the other in Black and White in order to enhance image details and improve contrast values for better photo quality. Dual lens camera technology is increasingly becoming more popular among consumers as it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for digital photography: higher quality of focus, better perspective, and more visible depth of field. With the rise of such innovation, consumer preference now shifts beyond the usual megapixel count.
Five months after this announcement came the creation of a joint R&D lab, located at the global headquarters of Leica at Wetzlar, Germany. The facility is named Max Berek Innovation Lab, after the renowned German inventor of the first ever Leica lens. The research center was specifically built to develop “software-based technologies to improve imaging quality in a wide range of photographic and mobile device applications.” Through this partnership, the two companies plan to further explore the capabilities of mobile photography in the fields of optical systems, virtual reality, and augmented reality.
The dual lens camera movement quickly gained momentum as proven by the introduction of the iPhone 7 Plus.
With these initiatives by global key players in the industry, more consumer electronic brands are expected to dedicate more of their investments in the development of camera technology and photography processing. The market can expect more cutting-edge smartphone offerings that would promise even higher quality cameras, and blur the lines between amateur and professional photography output.