Smartphone cameras are great, but if you had to pick out one feature that they fall down on in comparison to dedicated cameras most people would likely pick the zoom. The vast majority camera phones don’t have optical zoom because it requires bulky hardware. DynaOptics might change all that.
Optical zoom is an analogue system that usually requires some sort of protruding camera lens to accomplish, whereas most cameraphones comes with digital zoom which enlarges a section of a digital image. Optical zoom has been included on certain phones before, the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom being a good example, but in those cases the phone is more like a camera with a phone attached than the other way around.
DynaOptics attempts to change all that, by replacing the multiple lenses that extend out of the device with an experimental optical zoom that uses a progressive lens that moves laterally. This basically means that instead of splitting up the lens into multiple parts, the camera looks through different parts of the lens to achieve the zooming function.
Sadly this won’t be arriving anytime soon, with early 2016 an early estimate of when this tech could first appear in our phones. That is, of course, provided everything goes well.