Two lenses for one great pic

Morse code tips optical zoom feature for new Asus phone

Last month, Asus teased a new handset it plans to debut at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show, providing the tagline “see what others can’t see” in the video sneak peek. To my eyes, it looked as if the phone had two camera sensors on the back and I speculated that Asus would use the pair of cameras to offer improved zoom features over traditional digital zooming. Based on a new Asus teaser, it appears that’s exactly what the company’s new ZenPhone will offer.

Asus published another teaser video on Friday through its Google Plus page, using the same tagline. Only this time, there’s a Morse code message in the video, which Asus says is “a feature of one of our highlights at CES.” Here’s the short video spot:

It’s pretty easy to translate Morse Code once you know it, but my skills are a little rusty so I used an online translation tool: Those dots and dashes in the Asus video spell out the words “optical zoom.”

I don’t yet know which hardware partner Asus is working with for this type of functionality but my best guess is Corephotonics. Last year, that company showed off a dual-lens sensor that takes both a near and far photo at the same time. The end result is a combined image that provides a clearer zoomed photo.

I hope Asus will debut the device at its CES press event next week, since I plan to be in the audience and I’d like to see how well this technology works. We can’t easily add an optical zoom to our phones without adding some kind of bulkiness, so this type of feature could appeal to a wide smartphone audience.

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