An entirely new kind of smartphone camera lens is expected to arrive in 2023 that should radically improve photo and video capture at higher zoom levels.
Developed by Chinese technology company Tecno Mobile, the new technology, dubbed the “Eagle Eye Lens” is capable of not only tracking moving objects, but also keeping them centered in frame — something which can be very difficult to achieve with a hand-held device .
According to Tecno, Eagle Eye Lens is the first to deploy a dual-prism telephoto periscope lens. The use of a pair of prisms enables the lens to offer a very wide angle of tilt, enabling it to adjust internally to follow moving objects while simultaneously offering a greater degree of optical image stabilization. The company claims “true AI tracking with a stabilization angle as wide as 6 degrees on both the positive and negative axis.”
Tracking a fast-moving object at a distance is a challenging task that typically requires significant user skill. The zoomed-in on-screen image provides only a very narrow ‘window’ through which to view the scene, so it’s easy to lose track of your subject as it moves out of frame. If Tecno can solve this issue, I can see it having a major impact on both photography and videography at longer zoom ranges. Having an AI assisted optical tracking system would make it much easier to capture action videos such as sporting events or even pets running around the garden.
Of course, it remains to be seen how well the lens will work in practice and there will be obvious concerns over the reliability and durability of lenses with significant extra moving parts. Thankfully we won’t have to wait long to find out, as techno plans to introduce the technology first in its own smartphone products next year. If it works well, I imagine major manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung will be eyeing the feature with interest.
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