Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Samsung Galaxy S8’s front-facing camera may have its own autofocus sensor



It wouldn’t be like Samsung to introduce a new generation of flagship smartphones without introducing at least one innovation to help advance the smartphone industry. Rumor has it that one such innovation for the Samsung Galaxy S8 will involve the front-facing camera.

It’s said the front-facing camera will get its own aufofocus actuator to allow for fast focusing. The feature is a bit rare in today’s smartphone due to a couple of reasons:
Companies are trying to keep phones as slim as possible, so adding more mechanical parts is counterproductive to that goal. This directly impacts the next point.
Front-facing cameras are typically used with the camera just inches away from the subject’s face, so a fixed-focus sensor makes sense in all fundamental areas (practicality, economics, and real estate).

But Samsung seems to think a change is needed. It’s because front-facing camera sensors are so prominent that innovations are needed. Companies have been trying with the likes of high-end front-facing sensors with higher megapixel counts and, in some cases, their own flash units.


Autofocusing seems like a lost cause for the typical use-case scenario for this module, but there may be a lot of benefits. Firstly, selfie sticks are a thing (accept it, people) and there’s no longer a guarantee that the cameras are being used at arm’s length. Furthermore, a dedicated focusing actuator could make the sensor focus faster, something that’s always a key marketing point for anyone looking to push a high-quality camera.

Is it needed? Probably not. But the same could have been said for Samsung’s trademark heart-rate sensor. Or their fingerprint sensor. Or the MST element for Samsung Pay. And a lot of other things. Innovation, people: that’s all the reason anyone needs to try something new.