A U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-backed startup company, Rhevision Technology, is developing a tiny autofocus zoom lens designed especially for camera phones, according to an article today in Silicon Beat.
Funded by the CIA’s In-Q-Tel venture capital arm and EDF Ventures, Rhevision’s Web site says nothing except, “Shh! We are quietly developing the most advanced, miniature autofocus and optical zoom lens system in the world! This lens module is going to rock the entire camera-phone industry.”
Tim Rueth, CEO of Rhevision, says in the company’s press release today, “Soon, camera phones will have image sensors comparable to the quality of digital still cameras. What's lacking is the optical zoom and auto focus functions due to size, weight and cost limitations.
"Our optical zoom lenses will meet these market demands and offer auto-focus and 3x optical zoom while fitting in the small form factors of new cell phone designs. Our unique and proprietary approach will prove superior to competing approaches.”
Beyond the lab
Silicon Beat says In-Q-Tel “assures us this technology is out of the lab and very close to commercialization….”
Rhevision is a spinoff of the University of California at San Diego.
I’ve been surprised (pleasantly) by the rapid developments in camera phones. I didn’t think we’d see any optical zoom lenses by now, and already there are 2x and 3x lenses — not including Rhevision’s — incorporated into camera phones.