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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dolby expands beyond audio and puts HDR photo technology in smartphone cameras

Dolby is demonstrating HDR (High Dynamic Range) photo encoding on a smartphone at Mobile World Congress this week. The technology combines a number of photos with different exposures to produce a final image that captures shadows and highlights without over-exposure or under-exposure. Each photo is saved as an JPEG-HDR file, which enables it to be viewed on conventional photo viewers. However, the additional HDR information remains in the image file, offering the opportunity of returning to the image after it was taken and using HDR software to adjust the exposure.

HDR processing is carried out on the smartphone or tablet, with a cloud-based service to save each photo online while offering additional (and faster) processing options.

Dolby’s HDR photo processing could operate as a smartphone application, although a partnership with a manufacturer would offer full integration with the camera. The service is currently just being demonstrated; no commercial plans have been announced yet.

We spoke to Andy Dowell, Dolby’s Regional Director for Northern Europe, at Mobile World Congress today. The full interview is now online; simply subscribe to our free mobile industry podcasts to hear all of our conversations. You’ll find The Fonecast on iTunes, via our RSS feed, on the home page of our website and by searching the Stitcher Radio application.


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