Smartphone photography has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity over the last few years, and it's no wonder why. According to studies, some 58 percent of American Adults and 79 percent of teens own a smartphone. And that means they've got a camera in their pockets, pretty much everywhere they go.
Sharing platforms like Flickr and Instagram and photo editing apps like VSCO Cam are essential downloads for any photographer on the go. These apps let you adjust exposure, sharpness, and color, or even add creative filters, but they're basically neutered versions of what you can do with a "real" camera and a copy of Adobe Photoshop. Thus far, the only advantage to smartphone photography is its go-everywhere nature.
One project from a team out of MIT's Media Lab could change all that.
Dubbed "Tesseract," this new technology could teach your old smartphone camera a whole new bag of tricks. Some examples of Tesseract's powers include full-resolution, post-capture refocusing (one-upping the oddball Lytro cameras) and a "green screen" effect that could isolate a subject in the real world and place it on any background.
The tech can even mimic the bokeh effects produced by high-end lenses, giving your smartphone photos the creamy out-of-focus backgrounds that people usually pay thousands of dollars to get.
by TJ Donegan