Do you use your smartphone as your main camera? If so, you’re not alone: a recent survey by media regulator Ofcom found that 60% of adults in the UK now use a smartphone as their primary camera. Among 16- to 24-year-olds, this rises to nearly 90%.
Picture quality has improved enormously since the first camera phones emerged in the early 2000s, with major manufacturers like Apple, Sony and Samsung prioritising highly advanced cameras as part of their overall mobile device package.
And they want us to know just how good today’s cameras are. Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone 6’ ad campaign used photos taken by ordinary people and posted on Facebook, Flickr and Instagram, showing off more than 150 spectacular photographs taken on its latest smartphone.
But we can’t help wondering how much more the quality of everyday smartphone and tablet cameras will be improved. As TechCrunch reports, the increase in image quality “has gone beyond the point of being noticeable for most consumers”. For non-professional use, a well-built 8 megapixel camera is just fine. In terms of megapixels, “more has stopped being better”.
The answer, some manufacturers believe, is to go 3D. Microsoft and Intel already offer the technology and Apple recently acquired 3D-sensor manufacturer LinX.
Will this be the next big thing for mobile devices? The potential is huge.
Earlier this year, Allied Market Research said that the global 3D camera market will grow at a compound annual rate of 39.4% in 2014-2020, driven by 3D camera applications in smartphones. About 80% of smartphones could be enabled with 3D imaging technology by 2018, the research firm believes.
By 2020, the application of 3D cameras in smartphones will generate an estimated $2.02 billion (£1.3 billion).
Exploiting depth is “the only logical choice” for mobile device manufacturers who want to keep their products competitive, TechCrunch argues. Future smartphones and tablets will either have 3D sensors or will see flat sales, the technology news site said.
Tags: Smart phones