While Apple is speculated to give depth-sensing cameras on the next gen iPhones, the Android side seems to be catching up. Smartphone processor giant Qualcomm has announced the first depth-sensing camera technology for Android Ecosystem.

The Second-gen Qualcomm Spectra ISP (Image signal processor) is capable of measuring depth and show it from different angles in real time. The processing can spot depth differences as small as 0.1mm apart.

This is being considered as a step to make XR, AR, and VR much more immersive on Android devices. Not only this, the cameras on upcoming smartphones powered by Snapdragon platform are considered to have much clearer depth sensing.

Where will it be implemented?

Talking about the implementation and usage part, this technology is design for smartphone and Head Mounted Displays (HMD). This will indicate the actual depth of an image/video in real time on your device.

The new ISP is built for advanced Computer Vision use cases which require depth mapping. This video from Qualcomm showcases the usage of this second-gen Spectra ISP.

How does it work?

Talking about the working of this Second-Gen Qualcomm Spectra ISP, we can start by calling it a hardware and software combination. In their blog post, Qualcomm said that it features a multi-frame noise reduction for superior photographic quality, along with hardware-accelerated motion compensated temporal filtering (MCTF), and inline electronic image stabilization (EIS) for superior camcorder-like video quality.

The second-gen ISP features an optimized Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithm to support new Extended Reality (XR), Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality demanding SLAM use.

Going further, the camera module program will feature a trio of camera modules consisting of Iris Authentication, Active Depth Sensing, and Passive Depth Sensing modules.

Which devices will support it?

All the smartphones running Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Mobile platform get Spectra ISP. The second generation Spectra ISP will come to future devices running Snapdragon platform.

Also, presently out of the top 15 photography smartphones on DxO mark, 11 are powered by Qualcomm Spectra ISP.


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