Smart phone cameras are fast becoming “the only camera you need” for consumer photo and video. It’s not just about megapixels: Much of the quality improvement stems from advanced optics and tiny new motion systems for precision autofocus. It’s no surprise that engineers want to put tiny smart phone cameras in the non-consumer products they’re designing. Unfortunately, even the most impressive phone cameras are not sufficient for most non-consumer applications.
However, technology developed for today’s smart phone cameras is being extended for use in non-consumer applications. In this article we discuss how and why phone camera focus systems evolved from voice coil motors to piezo motion systems, and what that means for designers of embedded imaging systems for non-consumer applications.