FRESH NEW LOVE : INNOVATION ++

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Computational photography will kill the traditional camera. We have already seen the impact of smartphone cameras. The camera included with the iPhone X is a computational one using multiple lenses when in “portrait” mode. This article is not an advertisement for a new computational camera (but I’ll provide a link at the end of article for the leading product in this field). This is a study of a most remarkable piece of innovation.

Fresh Thinking

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In this new camera shown above, when a picture is taken, up to 16 lens modules “fire” simultaneously, capturing slightly different perspectives of the same scene. The camera intelligently chooses a combination of its 28mm, 70mm, and 150mm modules to use in each shot.

The camera captures so much data with every shot, it generates a 3D depth map of the scene. All of this extra information enables a radical new kind of photo editing: the ability to adjust depth of field and focal plane after the shot. Noise reduction is just an added perk of using multiple lenses at once.

Photography, in its most basic form, is the act of capturing light.  Having a large single F1.2 lens for example, allowed significantly more light into the camera in “low light” situations. With this camera, each of the camera’s lens modules work the same way that an entire DSLR would—utilizing the lens, mirror, sensor, shutter, and more to capture an image. However, with at least 10 different lens modules in each shot, it collects 10x the amount of light information, giving significantly more data to create high-res images.

Adjust the focal plane AFTER you have taken the photo.

The “focus” on this camera can be from 10cm to infinity. The camera captures images at such a wide aperture, each individual photo can have a shallow depth of field. This means the focal point is sharp but everything around it is not. By fusing these photos together, the software creates a deep depth of field—which you can then adjust at different levels to achieve certain artistic effects.

The photo above is youngest son with his catch. Same photo with different focal point after taking. Taken with an iPhone X.

The weak link is the software and processing speed

The Effective pixel size of a photograph is 52 million+ (52+megapixels). Processing a photo takes longer than normal. The camera has 250Gb of capacity. Transferring files may be slow. The processing speed and software has glitches apparently. However, it will only improve over time. With chip speed and processing power increasing every year, this isn’t a bottleneck to embracing this technology.

Innovation at work

The thought of having 16 small lenses versus 1 large lens is an innovative solution to get the most light. It also solves depth of field, high resolution and adjustable focal point. Its one major conceptual solution to solve one major problem: Size, weight and portability. This camera is only 165 x 85 x 25mm. It stores in a coat pocket.

This one camera may replace 4 lenses and a monstrous DSLR.

Great innovation has the hallmark of a leap in thinking. Drilling back to the root analysis of requirements to solve fundamental problems with a clean sheet of paper. Read my blogs on a structured way to do this. Its isn’t rocket science to identify the root problems. However, it does taken good knowledge on materials and fundamental science to consider all the solutions available.

Legacy products can be the death of innovation

What hasn’t Canon or Nikon come up with a computational camera with multiple on board lenses? The challenge is the millstone of legacy systems and the large customer following who don’t like to see their investment challenged. It takes an upstart company to push the boundaries. This is why I like to engage in innovation with companies 2-3 years old rather than the 40 year old corporate with a “fine tradition”. However, a change at the top and a new board will turn the traditional company on its ear and open the doors to examine legacy products.

Do the Impossible

Technology is a strong wind. Behind your back, you can assume increased processing abilities with portability in the palm of your hand. But beware of the hype. Technology can be over-hyped in the short term and under estimated in the long term. Incorporating technology as an enabler for you to “do the impossible” has a fair chance of success. Budgets and time frames have limitations, however the trend to “minimum viable products” opens the door to a progressive release of an otherwise “impossible” solution.

This camera is a testament to “doing the impossible”. It isn’t available in Australia yet but is in USA and UK. If you want to try computational photography, then beg, borrow or steal and iPhone x. Load up “Focus” software and snap a scene. Then after taking the photo have fun with the variable focal points. Its only two lenses at work and not 10+. However, the software is superb and the results stunning. This is the practical example of the future of photography. Find the Light Camera at https://light.co

It is currently criticised as “missing the mark” and “why would you need all those Megapixels” by the camera sponsored bloggers and magazines. Legacy pressure at work!

Read all of Bruce Loxton’s Blogs at palm2cloud.com.

 

 

 

“Welcome to Hell”.

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Courage and Pain

“Welcome to Hell,” a caver once told me by a campfire at night. “Where happiness goes to die. . . . If you wish to survive, you need to cultivate a strong mental attitude.”

“Why do you do it?” I asked.

“We do it for the unimaginable pleasure of conquering the unknown.”

True exploring spirit with unbelievable courage; and, as far as I could tell, a numbness for pain. Have you experienced these emotions without the cave?

Hard to find a customer in such a place

There is a business reality that should keep you out of dark caves. It would be hard for most of us to make money in that environment. (Tongue in cheek: there may be some who say they do have customers from there…)

In the Innovation game, you need, in my opinion, to both swim in a sea of customers AND crawl into a private cave. You need customer problems and space to think through solutions. In an ideal world, one should quickly follow the other to keep the vision fresh. Continue reading “Welcome to Hell”.

Which one can do the impossible?

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Can the Helicopter Leader see the impossible?

In a helicopter at 1,000 feet you’ll be able to clearly recognize what you’re looking at with the benefit of seeing a higher perspective.

From this perspective, you can elevate your thinking from the tactical day-to-day operations to a higher level. At this higher level

  • You expand your perspective to understand how the core essential elements of your business fit together and provide best value to customers.
  • You think in both abstract (higher level) and specific (lower level) terms.
  • You link the two together is a structure of business plans.  For some, this approach is ‘business as usual’; for others, with a more hands-on approach, it can take a little practice.

But can you see the impossible from the helicopter?

The helicopter has the disadvantage of an apparent “see it all”. Can you set “impossible goals” based on the perspective you have? Have you got it all-too mapped out? Continue reading Which one can do the impossible?

Art and Science of Product Innovation

Product InnovationCreating the “Impossible”

In my mind, the black art of innovation and the white science of problem solving go hand in hand to “create the impossible”. One needs both for a commercial outcome.

Famous artists follow two broad processes:

  • quick and creative – Picasso, Pollock
  • careful and methodical – Monet (he planted water lilies before painting them)

Both results are innovative: they create something new that hadn’t been before.
However, the probability of commercial success with the “careful and methodical” process is far higher, in my opinion. Here is why: Continue reading Art and Science of Product Innovation

If Henry Ford had a Smartphone

If-HENRY-FORD-had-a-Smart-phoneHenry Ford saved time through innovation and change. He is best known for the moving vehicle production line. The line moved at a set production pace. Workers had to keep up to the line.

To keep up to line speed, innovative vehicle assembly procedures were developed and perfected. Each change was simple but detailed. The details became routine.
Simplifying the routine gave improvement. However, the big gains were in more “thinking time”. More problems were solved. More time to implement innovation.

Nearly every business has a “Henry Ford” moving line. It is the digitisation of your work processes. This end-to-end set of processes should give the customer meaningful solutions on time and on spec. Every business has side processes that take people “off the production line”.

Many process steps use computer based applications. Some use digital communication. There is data collection internally and with the customer. How much time would you save if these steps were simplified? Continue reading If Henry Ford had a Smartphone