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Parisian company Prophesee made a splash last year by introducing its own Metavision sensor technology for cell phone cameras. The main idea was to make blurry images a thing of the past by delivering impressive results during the development phase.

In that MMC 2024, has made another breakthrough in its partnership with Qualcomm. The company, which is leading serious work in the field of neuromorphic vision systems, announced that its Metavision sensor technology has reached the production stage.

Prophesee told English Digital Trends and journalist Nadeem Sarwar that it has partnered with Sony to develop a sensor that takes advantage of custom software tuning and the firepower provided by Qualcomm’s top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. At a fundamental level, the Metavision sensor is combined with an image sensor fills gaps in visual data at microsecond speeds, opening the door to blurry images in both dark and very bright scenarios.

“Patented Metavision sensors and Prophesee artificial intelligence mimic the functioning of the human eye and brain,” the company says. The event-based approach of MetaVision’s sensor technology uses motion blur reduction to ensure that the final results show no evidence of motion blur.

How Prophesee tries to get rid of blurry photos

Metavision sensor showcase.

Most smartphone cameras, even high-end flagships, struggle with fast-moving subjects and fail to properly lock focus. As a result, not only do the images look out of place, but motion artifacts render them virtually useless.

Image blur becomes especially apparent in low-light conditions or at night, where solutions like multi-frame noise reduction don’t reach their true potential. Prophesee claims to deliver “unprecedented levels” of image quality in “fast-moving, low-light scenes.”

Unlike a typical smartphone camera sensor, where the amount of light changes depending on the exposure window, the Metavision sensor provides “eternal exposure time” for continuous motion capture. “It’s like having a camera on your phone with 10,000 images per second,” the company says.

Prophesee image deblurring. Vision based on frames and events.

In addition to offering a custom sensor developed in conjunction with Sony, Prophesee also places equal emphasis on the software stack and integration services that come with it. “Metavision Deblur software is entering production stage. “We integrate both hardware and software into mobile phones,” the company tells Digital Trends.

The idea is to offer smartphone industry players a seamless experience of implementing all Metavision hardware and software on their respective Snapdragon-powered devices. Notably, the base tier was set to the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, presumably due to its massive firepower, advanced ISP, and next-gen AI capabilities.

The exciting future of smartphone cameras

The difference created by Metavision technology.

The Prophesee solution is fully functional on a Sony IMX636 mobile camera sensor. At the moment, the technology has only been tested for the main camera of the phone. However, the company tells Digital Trends that future versions of the Metavision sensor are considering support for multiple sensors, including ultra-wide and telephoto sensors.

In its current state, the Prophesee event sensor can only do wonders for creating still images without blur. But the company tells us that video support is also included in future plans.

“It is primarily a video detection platform used to capture and process motion for a variety of use cases,” a Prophesee spokesperson told Digital Trends. The company did not specify when exactly we will see the Metavision sensor in action on a commercially available smartphone. The good news is that phones with Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 have already hit the market, and since the Metavision portfolio is currently in production, you won’t have to wait long.

Based on what Prophesee showed in demos, if the Metavision sensor delivers on these promises, it could open up a whole new chapter for smartphone photography, one where the average user won’t have to adjust shutter speed and other settings to get sharp images. And this is a very interesting future to think about.

Source: Digital Trends

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