At some point in 2019, phone shoppers just started accepting ugly camera modules. The remarkably good photographs taken by these cameras did justice to their bulging three- or six-eyed design. And in 2020, much more serious public concerns took over the resentment over the strikes of a stamp-sized camera.
However, where consumers saw bulky camera modules, glassmaker Corning saw opportunities. Corning, which these days is best known as a manufacturer High strength glass which covers almost all high-end smartphones, noticed that the latest smartphone cameras are more prone to scratches due to both the increased surface area of the lens modules and the way the lenses protrude from the phones. When enough scratches appear on the lens, the quality of the photographs begins to deteriorate. It turns out that there is a glass for this.
Corning today announced its latest composite: a new version of Gorilla Glass optimized for smartphone camera lenses. A version of the new composite material, dubbed Gorilla Glass DX and DX +, technically already exists; In July 2018, the company introduced this product for use on smartwatch dials, touting its “improved optical clarity, sunlight readability, exceptional durability and scratch resistance.” But Corning had to reformulate the DX and DX + composite for smartphones so that it could claim a certain level of scratch resistance. without compromises photo and video quality — essentially maximizes optical clarity and also increases reliability.
“We’re seeing demands for better lighting control begin to emerge across several different device verticals,” said Scott Forester, Corning’s vice president of marketing and innovation for Gorilla Glass. “As smartphone camera systems become more and more sophisticated, all of these lenses and their protrusion from the camera lead to scratches. [Manufacturers] said, “Well, I can’t use anti-reflective film there, so I just have to deal with what I have today,” which is mostly glass. “
Forester goes on to describe how the properties of this composite make it more ideal for lenses that cover a smartphone camera. Typically, cover lenses have an anti-reflective coating that reduces glare and allows more light to pass through the lens, allowing only about 95 percent of the available light to reach the camera’s sensor. Corning claims this new version of DX and DX + for smartphone lenses allows the camera to capture 98 percent of the light while maintaining the scratch resistance of standard Gorilla Glass. (He also claims that the DX + product comes close to the scratch-resistant properties of sapphire glass, a synthetic material known for its durability, transparency, and the value it adds to gadgets.)
Corning declined to disclose which phone models will soon ship with Gorilla Glass DX or DX +. And in line with its past behavior, Corning declined to comment on the nature of its partnership with Apple. It said that Samsung would be the first customer to use Gorilla Glass DX for its smartphone lens caps. Samsung is At least five new products are expected to be unveiled next month the annual Unpacked summer event, which may include foldable phones as well as new wearable devices; it is likely that this will be the official release of this new Corning product, although Corning has not confirmed this.
Corning isn’t the only manufacturer looking to improve smartphone photography – however gradual – with technology designed to improve lenses, not image sensors. Julian Choccattu of WIRED wrote earlier this year about a startup called Metalenz, which is replacing the now-widespread set of multi-camera lenses with a single lens built on a tiny glass plate.
“Look closely under a microscope and you will see nanostructures one thousandth the width of a human hair,” wrote Chokcutt. “These nanostructures bend the light beams in a way that overcomes many of the disadvantages of single lens systems.” This compact technology, if widely adopted, could allow more phone makers to place sensors and cameras under displays, and could be used in other products.
No ugly camera bumps, you say? Sign me … even if we have already forgiven their existence.
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