Nokia announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Scalado, “a world leader in mobile imaging technology”. Nokia seems to be investing a lot of resources into imaging within its smartphone offerings. A good camera on a smartphone can be a compelling USP to consumers, but Nokia think they will have something more than good, more like revolutionary; “We think that imaging is about to go through another major revolution” said Nokia VP of software program management Samuli Hanninen, discussing the newly acquired IP.
Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed; also details of what Nokia plan to do with the Scalado IP are not clear. The Conversations by Nokia blog does have a few hints within it though. The key paragraph in the blog post, if we are thinking about revolutionary innovation, is the following:
“We can also change the way in which you capture memories. We’re talking about ‘recapturing’ moments. Your photos can contain so much information that you can go back and make new pictures that are completely different, in non-destructive ways – maybe focused on the sunset that was behind your girlfriend’s shoulder in the original.”
This alludes to technology which is similar to the Lytro light-field camera, which if combined with the PureView sensor would be a great pocket photography gadget. Interestingly Steve Jobs met with the CEO of Lytro about a year ago, possibly to talk about fitting this light-field camera tech into an Apple iPhone.
Scalado will also bring other enhancements to Nokia imaging. Roughly 50 imaging software specialists will join Nokia from Scalado and work on other camera hardware and software enhancements. The Nokia blog talks about enhancing photos with contextual data. “One example is the way phones can enrich photos with contextual data. It can know the who, what, where and when behind every picture and use that intelligently” says Samuli Hanninen.
The Conversations by Nokia blog ends with a teaser equation, showing what may come out of the amalgamation of technologies brought about by the acquisition of Scalado;
“PV + SC = PV^2”
“Though the latest and greatest camera phones might seem like they’re perfect, we really have only just begun.” concludes the blog post. We can’t wait to see what the PV^2 can do. Is the 7th September too soon for a PV^2 smartphone to be Nokia’s “something amazing” revelation?