Nokia Invests in Insect-inspired Mobile Imaging Tech

Nokia's choice for Symbian isn't the only drawback of PureView 808, and its otherwise brilliant camera, it's also that the camera and its optics make the device significantly thicker than say an iPhone 5 (13.9 mm vs. 7.6 mm).

Nokia plans to keep its edge over mobile imaging alive, and possibly spread its PureView IP across multiple price-points in the near future, by investing in "array cameras." An array camera is similar in principle to an array telescope, or a compound-eye of the fruit fly. Multiple tiny lenses replace a single large one, capturing portions of the image. The end result is good imaging at lower device thickness. The first credible array camera technology for mobiles was demonstrated by Pelican Imaging, back in 2011.

Nokia revealed its array camera technology investment plans to Bloomberg, in a recent report. The report speaks of Nokia investing in companies that make key components that go into building array cameras; these include an investment in Singapore-based Heptagon Technology, which specializes in micro-optics, and California, US-based InVisage Technologies, specializing in sensors. By the end of the year, Nokia will have invested in six other imaging tech companies. The branch of Nokia handing these investments is Nokia Growth Partners, which has its hands around a $600 million pot, and invests up to $15 million in companies that fall within Nokia's long-term strategy.