FEBRUARY 25, 2009--Software-enhanced optics -- or smart optics -- is the technique of correcting for known optical effects by image processing. The optical effect can be an intrinsic defect that must be corrected or a deliberately introduced artifact that provides a feature or special effect.
If the objective is merely to boost the picture quality rather than invest in high-quality, precision optics, it is possible to use software to correct for known aberrations introduced by a lower-cost optical train. For example, if the constraints on size and cost mean that the picture corners will always be blurred to the same degree, software-enhanced optics can apply edge-sharpening algorithms to just those regions.
The user is then happy with the picture because the inherent deficiencies in the camera module have been corrected or masked and the picture appears to be good in all areas. To be effective, the adjustments should be completely transparent to the user and require no intervention to use. For more information, go to: http://www.commsdesign.com/design_corner/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=212200029