What is the next major breakthrough for smartphones? 615 by Simon Hill on November 9, 2013 8:03 am 87 Has the pace of innovation been slowing down lately? We’re used to incremental improvements to the existing technology in our smartphones, but big, bold moves are much more exciting. Our expectations are higher than ever. There have been some interesting developments in the last year. Sony has brought waterproofing into the mainstream. Apple dipped a toe, or a finger, into biometrics with the fingerprint scan to unlock. Google and Motorola gave us a smartphone that’s always listening for its master’s voice. LG and Samsung have taken the first step towards a flexible future. What might be next on the horizon? Which barriers are our intrepid research and development professionals about to overcome next? Let’s take a look at some of the evolving technology that could be set to enhance our smartphones in the foreseeable future. Faster image capture and refocus later Remember that scene in Blade Runner when Deckard uses an Esper machine to enhance a photo and see something that wasn’t captured in the original shot? Well, that’s impossible, but camera technology is improving at an amazing rate and we’re not talking about slapping a giant camera sensor in a mobile (yes we’re looking at you Lumia 1020). DigitalOptics mems|cam DigitalOptics is working on MEMS (microelectromechanical system) camera modules which are capable of incredibly fast autofocus with much lower power demands than current technology. The “mems|cam” can capture six consecutive images and store them as one file, which gives you the ability to refocus the photo later, and it’s up to seven times faster than current camera technology. There were rumors that the Nexus 5 might be packing one, but it now looks like Oppo will be the first manufacturer to release a phone with a “mems|cam” after a DigitalOptics press release announced that they “are exclusive launch partners”….