Canon and Microsoft Announce Patent Cross-Licensing Agreement: Future Windows Phone Camera Plans Ahead?

Canon + Microsoft

Yesterday, Microsoft and Canon announced a new broad patent cross-licensing agreement, which will essentially grant the two giant companies licenses to each others patent portfolios.

While Microsoft and Canon have been known to partner up in the past, this time around the situation looks pretty different. There’s a number of reasons this agreement took place, and the top possibilities revolve around the mobile industry. Microsoft and Canon may not have disclosed the terms of the agreement, but they did mention that “certain digital imaging and mobile consumer products have been included in the agreement.”

With Microsoft’s recent business ventures with Nokia, the patent agreement may very well be the beginning of an involvement by Canon in Nokia’s Windows Phone line. With how heavily focused the mobile company is on its smartphone cameras in the Lumia line, Canon would be a great company to get support from.

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Sony Grabs a Lytro-Esque Patent for Light Field Sensor Technology

Sony's New Patent

Lytro’s one of the few companies out there that are pioneering in what’s called “light field” technology; their light field sensors basically take in massive amounts of data and process them into a small picture that you can interact with. The final result helps achieve a sort of post-focusing effect you’d find in Google Camera’s Lens Blur or the HTC One M8′s double-sensor camera. Back about two months ago, Lytro announced a camera called the Illum – one of the first major steps in making a camera like that reality while keeping the specs a bit up to date.

But right now, the technology’s still in its growing stages. The Illum is a first, but at the same time it’s retaining a hefty price tag of around $1500. It’s needless to say that there’s still a lot left to be done with this technology before it can actually be that profitable. Just recently, Sony took a big step for the future of light field sensors by grabbing their own patent for light field sensors. According to the patent [warning, geeky read], apparently Sony has a way to get past some of the limitations that light field sensors bring to the rest of the technology implemented in. Put that together with the fact that this is Sony we’re talking about, which both has the tech power and the market interest, and you’ve got a pretty promising look at what the future might hold for these new sensors.

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Amazon’s New Patent: Why We Should Probably Chill Out

amazon-seamless-white

There’s been news circulating around of a new patent Amazon’s recently secured itself with, and it sounds a bit ridiculous when you take a look at the headlines coming out. For those who don’t know, Amazon basically patented a type of photography where one light is shining straight at the subject, along with light completely filling the background; in other words, seamless white background photography.

The patent was granted back in March, but news of this made the rounds just yesterday, angering many voices in the online photography community. The good news, however, is that there might not be that much cause for concern in the first place.

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You Can Close The Studio, Amazon Patents Photographing On Seamless White

I am not really sure how to tag this other than a big #fail for the USPTO, or a huge Kudos for Amazon’s IP attorneys. In a patent simply called Studio arrangement Amazon took IP ownership on what we all call shooting against a seamless white backdrop.

amazon-seamless-white

The patent describes the arrangement of elements in the studio to make a product shot. it even details the F-stop, ISO value and focal length you need to use [bold text by me]: [Read more...]

Google Obtains Patents for the Development of Contact Lens Cameras

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Google Glass is on public sale today for one day only. And by that, I mean that the development model with software specifications assigned two years ago is on sale today. They haven’t even fully implemented their Glass technology into the world of wearable consumer technology, yet, and Google already has their mind on the next move. A patent’s just been released that details plans by the company to invent camera technology for contact lenses.

Oh, eat your hearts out, NSA. Eat your hearts out.

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