Is Microsoft next big camera innovation curved sensors?

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Microsoft has applied for a patent for a new type of curved camera sensor with its own custom optical image stabilization system, based on rotating the sensor somewhat.

A curved sensor actually simplifies the design of a camera, as much of the lenses in current flat “planar” designs are there to flatten out the naturally curved image created by curved lenses. Using a curved sensor actually results in naturally sharper images, but means current optical image stabilization designs, which moved the whole sensor up and down would cause an image which is constantly out of focus.

The new design for the optical image stabilization would rotate the lens around its own axis and would result in 3 axis shake compensation.

The research is by inventors from Microsoft Research, rather than Microsoft Mobile, which unfortunately means we can not be sure that it will actually end up in products, but hopefully under Nadella and with Microsoft now owning Nokia’s mobile division it will be more likely.

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