Toshiba believes it has a great idea with its 5-megapixel dual camera module, an industry first that the company brought to CES 2014 and began shipping for manufacturers. What it doesn’t have is a good name for the device. The TCM9518MD is on display on the CES 2014 show floor and is in sampling now for manufacturers.
The TCM9518MD consists of two 5-megapixel camera modules and a dedicated companion LSI chip that is capable of simultaneously capturing an image and depth data for smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices. It’s somewhat like the MemsCam technology we saw last year, or a simple version of the Lytro. This technology will allow users to capture images that they otherwise would not be able to with a standard lens, such as keeping the background in focus or blurring the background entirely while keeping your subject in focus. It can also generate a 13-megapixel image by scaling up the captures from the two 5-megapixel cameras.
Toshiba has designed the TCM9518MD with mobile devices in mind, hoping to have it installed in future phones and tablets. Similar technology exists, most notably the Lytro light field camera, and Nokia has made efforts to pursue Pelican Imaging, the creator of a similar technique, likely for use in its smartphones and tablets. Consumers and manufacturers alike will be able to Toshiba’s TCM9518MD in action at CES, though we do hope the piece of tech is given a better name soon.