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Thanks to a team of researchers we may soon be seeing the elimination of smartphone camera bumps

Recently smartphones have been plagued by a host of ugly designs compromising aesthetics for functionality. This can be clearly seen with Apple’s new trio-cameras which has been met with criticism.

The protuberance on the back of the phone is designed to accommodate the camera’s optics to ensure it has the full functional capacity. But thanks to a team of researchers from the university of Utah, who have developed lenses a thousand times more thinner and lighter, this improvement will hopefully be used to eliminate ugly camera bumps.

Conventional optics are comprised of curved surfaces that become thicker with increasing resolution. For example, in order to bend light at larger angles, the radius of curvature must be lowered, and as a consequence the lens becomes thicker and heavier taking up valuable space. As a result of this we are seeing a trend of camera bumps on smart phones.

The lens created is made up of innumerable tiny microstructures invisible to the naked eye, and is positioned specifically to ensure that each one bends and refracts light towards the camera’s sensors, focusing its efficiency. By reducing the lens’ thickness and weight it is easier to utilise the material used to its fullest potential, while at the same time reducing manufacturing costs.

Reduction of the weight and thickness also means that the phone itself can also be reduced in size thanks to free space being made available. More in depth details can be found at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/10/04/1908447116