Catching Back Up with Refocus Imaging’s Shifting Focus


On Monday, we talked about Canon‘s crazy Iris Registration Mode eyeball copyright scanner thing. And now we continue along the path of interesting new futuristic digital imaging stuffs with more news about Refocus Imaging, the company that is trying to do away with focusing a camera and instead letting a user decide where the focus range should rest later, when they’re editing the photograph on a computer. You’ve likely heard about this before if you spend any time on even the mildest of tech sites, as it’s been around for a bit, first having been developed by a team at Stanford (who have since branched out from the university to form this company). Refocus Imaging has a few samples up on their site that are a blast to toy around with and Cnet has the whole story on the company, talking to its founders about their nifty idea. Here’s a bit:

“One way to think of it is just a raw image, except to the nth degree,” Ng said, referring to the raw images that higher-end cameras can record directly from the image sensor, leaving processing choices to the photographer. “It contains a ton more information than a raw picture today. There are all kinds of creative controls you couldn’t even conceive of now.”

Another advantage is that the technology works better in low light, he said. And by transforming the light’s optical properties using a computer instead of relying just on the camera’s lenses, a computing system can correct aberrations to improve lens sharpness, as well as heighten lens contrast and lower its manufacturing costs.