Cameras have relied on mechanics for operations such as changing focus since their early days, but all that may be about to change, according to Silicon Valley start-up LensVector.
The company, founded in 2006, emerged from four years in stealth mode today to announce its first product – an autofocus created with no moving parts – on silicon.
“The vision of the company is to replace all the mechanical aspects of a camera with solid-state alternatives, starting with autofocus,” Derek Proudian, chief executive, told me.
I spent the morning at the International Institute of Strategic Studies, for the launch of their annual report on the global military balance. I found the briefing really fascinating, which could be a dangerous sign that I am now on the official register of “international affairs bores” and should be forced into early retirement.
The briefing offered by the IISS experts ranged fascinatingly over a variety of topics from the Iranian nuclear programme, to Russia’s new military doctrine and the links (or lack of them) between al-Qaeda and Iran.
But the thing I found most interesting was the confirmation that cyber-security is the hot issue of the day.
When the first Apple computer came out, it was a clean slate for developers. They could write any programme they wanted for it, and their efforts gave rise to the era of personal computing.
But since 2007, Apple has made its new systems far less open. Apps for the iPhone and iPod touch must be approved by Apple. This gate-keeping will continue as Apple rolls out the iPad.