The Nokia Research Center in Palo Alto, California, in cooperation with Stanford University, has announced a project called Frankencamera (FCam).
This is an open-source digital photography platform that allows developers to create new capabilities for digital cameras. Users will naturally benefit from whatever new and exciting photo apps are developed for the platform.
The idea is for this project to nurture new camera apps that help users overcome the limitations of the currently available mobile hardware and camera software.
The Nokia N900 was chosen to be the host device for this platform because the Maemo Linux distribution that it runs is very similar to full, desktop distributions. Therefore, any development for the device can take advantage of the knowledge programmers have of the Linux environment.
A few demonstrative (but functional) applications have already been created by the researchers themselves, and are showcased on the FCam project pages.
These include FCamera, an example camera application that uses FCam libraries and drivers, and is meant to serve as a starting point for developing camera apps. There’s also Low-light Assistant, that serves a purpose which is obvious from its name, and HDR capture, which helps in situations where there’s too much light.
The goal of this project is to get as many people outside Nokia as possible involved in creating a new breed of programmable camera applications, alongside Nokia developers.
The FCam platform is available for download here.
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