Best daily deals

Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

Optical zoom could be headed to even the thinnest phones by 2016

This new approach to lens technology could put optical zoom cameras into every smartphone around, no matter how thick, or thin, the mobile device is. Beyond the smartphone, this tech could help reduce the size of lenses for traditional photography as well.
October 21, 2014
Sony QX Lens video

The ability to take a good photo is becoming more and more important to smartphone owners. Camera sensors are really beginning to prove they are up to the task of providing excellent images, meaning one of the only things missing, hardware-wise, is better optics, specifically, the ability to zoom.

The small startup DynaOptics, with teams in San Francisco and Singapore, have a new optical lens that may change smartphone photography in a big way, enabling optical zoom on almost any smartphone, regardless its thickness.

In the photography world, optical zoom is usually accomplished using a large and expensive external lens assembly. We’ve all seen those monstrous telescopes on the front of a camera on the sidelines of most sporting events. In the world of smartphone optical zoom technology, we’ve seen a handful of clamp on external lenses as well, and even full service solutions, like the newly announced Sony QX1 and QX30.

DynaOptics Lense Optical Zoom technology

Typical lens tech uses a method of moving the multiple internal lenses closer and further away from each other to bend the light, creating ‘zoom.’ DynaOptics has come up with a system in which lenses slide across the face of one another creating the same effects. I imagine anyone familiar with transitional bi-focal lens glasses has an idea how this all might work.

DynaOptics is not yet fully operational, they’ve raised $2 million to date, but are on the look out for further investors and to gain a smartphone manufacturer partnership or two. If all goes well, and with tech like this we hope it does, mass production could start next year with DynaOptics equipped optical zoom smartphones hitting the market into 2016.

Those of you that lug around your dedicated shooter, is optical zoom on your smartphone enough to entice you over to the dark side of smartphone photography?