Metalenz’s new tech promises smaller camera bumps in next-gen smartphones

Metalenz, a startup founded by applied physicists from Harvard, is working on next-gen smartphone lens technology that could fundamentally remedy the protruding bump of camera lenses. The company is working on developing a lens system that is smaller but better performing than traditional smartphone lenses. Not only is Metalenz looking to produce its innovative lenses for smartphones, but it also wants to produce them for the automotive and health industries.

Although the smartphone camera systems are getting more advance, their manufactures have not been able to reduce the camera bumps. The protruding camera lens has irked some users and now with the increase in lenses numbers in the new camera systems like the iPhone 12, the camera bump is more noticeable.

iPhone SE Camera

Metalenz: transforming light via breakthrough flat-lens technology to make camera bump smaller

The reason camera bumps are so thick is that multiple lenses need to be stacked on top of each other to produce high-quality images. Those stacked lenses result in the protruding bump from the back of a smartphone. The only way to reduce the bump would be to remove lenses, but that would reduce image and video quality.

That’s where Metalenz comes in. The company is launching a “flat lens system” that it says utilizes a new technology called optical metasurfaces. Metalnez claims that camera systems built using this technology can produce better quality images than traditional lenses while also collecting more light – all while taking up less space on the back of a smartphone.

Metalenz is commercializing a revolutionary flat optical technology and transforming optical sensing in consumer electronics and automotive markets. Built on a foundational innovation in meta-optics from Harvard University, Metalenz’s technology enables significant reduction in the complexity and size of optical modules while improving system performance.


The company plans to begin mass production of its new lens system by the end of 2021. Metalenz says that the first commercial application of the new flat lens system will be a 3D sensor in a smartphone of a company, however, the smartphone manufacturer who is going to adopt the new tech has not yet been revealed.

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.