At the annual Mi Developer Conference (MIDC 2020) held in Beijing, Xiaomi launched a retractable wide-angle lens technology that can bring a more traditional camera-like experience to future smartphones. This new technology is based on a retractable optical structure that resides in the smartphone but can be extended when needed, just like the traditional optical zoom on a point-and-shoot camera. Xiaomi has not provided any specific details on when the latest developments will be introduced to its smartphones. However, it does point out that the new products will bring “professional photography” to smartphone users in the future.
The retractable wide-angle lens technology enables the telescope camera to have a larger aperture. Xiaomi said that compared with the current camera structure, this increases the light input by up to 300%, thus providing better performance in portrait and night photography. The latest camera design also uses a new image stabilization technology, which can achieve a larger anti-shake angle to stabilize the image and increase the sharpness by 20%.
The company said in a statement: “Xiaomi will continue to integrate these professional imaging technologies into smartphone photography, bring professional photography to hundreds of millions of smartphone users worldwide, and increase Xiaomi’s investment portfolio in imaging technology breakthroughs.”
In addition to major hardware level changes, Xiaomi is also expected to adjust the camera application pre-installed on its MIUI to support retractable cameras. The video has been posted on Weibo, showing the new experience.
Details on when the new technology will enter mass production have not been disclosed. However, considering Xiaomi’s activity in the smartphone market, it may become part of its flagship product in the future.
At MIDC 2020, Xiaomi also announced plans to hire 5,000 engineers in 2021 to expand its engineering team, which already has more than 10,000 employees. The Beijing-based company also launched the Xiaomi Smart Factory, which is touted as automatically switching a production line every 20 minutes.
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