FocusTwist is a new app from Arqball that brings Lytro-style multiple focus to Apple platforms.
Using an iPhone or iPad, users can easily manipulate images after taking them, changing sharpness points between background and foreground.
FocusTwist captures photos and merges them together
After creating Arqspin, an app that creates 360-degree interactive videos used especially for online product display, the Arqball team continues its foray into niche photography.
FocustTwist is the first iOS app to mimic Lytro focus-shifting. As in the case of its first app, the Virginia-based mobile development company created FocusTwist as a fun little gadget, though commercial applications are possible as well.
The software operation behind the FocustTwist is very simple. The app takes several photos over the course of a couple of seconds, at different focus settings, and merges them together, to create an interactive “twist”. The image can be re-focused by simply tapping on it.
Best “twists” are created when objects are wide apart
According to Arqball, the best results are achieved in scenes where there is a precise separation between foreground and background. Ideally, the first object will be composed very close to the phone’s camera (a couple of inches near) and the second one will be placed far in the scene (at least five feet away).
Also recommended is that you keep really still while composing the shot, even though the application makes use of a system that picks the most stable shots for the final image.
Multi-focus photography on the rise
Beginning with 2001’s Lytro, multiple-focus photo technology has been steadily developing, and it is expected to reach outstanding results in the near future.
One of the game-changers will be Pelican Imaging, which was featured in detail, last week. As opposed to a simple app created in a couple of days, Pelican has been developing its bug-eye-like optical array over years. The commitment will be rewarded in the last quarter of 2013, when Pelican’s revolutionary camera will be implemented on Android devices.
A similar story goes for a Toshiba sensor, which compared to Pelican’s 16 to 20 optical elements, will boast an incredible 500,000 microlenses, each .03 mm in diameter. Toshiba’s imager has been announced last December, with details yet to follow, though it is certain to benefit smartphones too.
Until real technology takes over, FocusTwist will be a fun toy to re-focus photos with and it is available in the Apple app store, as of today, for $1.99.