Speaking at the MIT TechnologyReview Mobile Summit, Microsoft Researcher Victor Bahl stated that while the size and resolution of image sensors has improved, not much has been done to improve the power consumption, something that's needed for continuous mobile vision.
With new mobile devices becoming more powerful and using higher resolution image sensors, and the introduction of devices like Google Glass, the need for image sensors that allow for a longer battery life is becoming more essential.
Researchers at Microsoft Research and Rice University are developing ways to make digital camera sensors more efficient. Bahl stated that researchers tested five image sensors and focused on their power usage while both capturing images and in idle states. They testing showed that it made little difference what resolution the images were captured at and that there was still power consumption in the periods between image captures.
Their research showed that they could reduce power consumption by 36% by using optimal clock frequencies for image frame rate and as much as a 95% power saving when employing an aggressive standby mode.
What it all adds up to, is a step forward in achieving continuous mobile vision for not only consumer devices, but also additional applications in robotics.