Mobile World Congress is all about showcasing some of the newest technologies; it’s hard not to be excited about where the future will take us! Mobile imaging in particular was a huge focus for a lot of companies, so we sat down with Simon Fitzpatrick, Senior Director of Product Management at FotoNation (part of Xperi), to talk about this prevalent tech. He gave us a rundown of this year’s mobile imaging trends and made some surprising predictions!
A camera is a representation of reality, it’s not reality. It’s something that an engineer somewhere is interpreting
One of the first things Fitzpatrick said, this statement resonated strongly with us. It was a reminder that the final image a camera produces is a result of complex algorithms and hardware features.
Fitzpatrick also stated that he believes artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR), not virtual reality (VR), are definitely the biggest trends in mobile imaging this year and at the core of current and future mobile devices.
AI in particular has evolved rapidly to the point where cameras are now able to individuate people better than before: “The things we’re doing with AI is enabling us to tell more about [a person’s] ethnicity, how old they are, what gender they are and we can deliver an experience which is geared towards the individual but giving them the flexibility to create their own looks and feels.”
Along with AI, 3D imagery has grown as well, giving users freedom to customize their own self-image within the virtual space: “When you see a third dimension, you can start rendering that into a virtual world and create experiences that extend beyond the real. […] You can capture more of what’s in a scene and […] if you go to a flat image later on, you can recompose it. I don’t like the angle of my face, I can do it over”
Smartphones are getting smarter by the day but this isn’t enough to compete and one day bring the extinction of DSLRs, believes Fitzpatrick:
Phones will not replace DSLRs. Here’s why: there will be camera limitations. You need a bigger lens to capture more resolution and a big sensor for better fidelity
On the other hand, what’s almost certain is that the mobile phone will be eventually replaced by something even more comfortable and smaller: “In five years, maybe ten years, the form factor we all know, the mobile phone, will be a pair of glasses with an imager in it”
Watch in the video above to hear more about why Simon believes more in AR than VR, plus the three ways Xperi plans to deliver the future of mobile!