Toshiba has just announced a new camera module that allows users to refocus smartphone photos after they're taken, like Lytro's light field technology. Unlike Nokia's attempts to use software to refocus after the event, Toshiba's solution uses new hardware to enable the manipulations.
Known as TCM9518MD — ain't that catchy? — the module uses two five-megapixel sensors and a processing chip that simultaneously capture images and depth data.
Combined, they can be used to capture images that aren't possible with a normal smartphone camera. For instance, you can take a macro shot and keep the background in focus, maybe change the focus of a shot, or even blur a background after snapping. The new module is being offered to OEMs right now as a sample, which means that — if it gets the nod from the big boys — you might see phones toting it within the year. [PR Newswire via The Verge]