Olympus patent details dual-layer sensor that could remove the need for polarizing filters

by Gannon Burgett

posted Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at 3:18 PM EDT

A recent patent from Olympus shows off an interesting technology that could remove the need for screw-on polarizing filters entirely.

Patent Publication No. 2015–41793 (translated), filed in August of 2013, details a sensor with two separate layers: one that measures light and color as a traditional sensor does and a second electronic layer, on top, which captures polarization information.

Overhead view of the dual-layer sensor

This information could presumably be used to replicate the effects of a polarizing filter without the loss of light, meaning skies will be a darker blue, water reflections will be reduced and an overall increase in contrast and vibrancy, especially in landscape images.

Side-view illustration of the dual-layer sensor.

It might take some time for this technology to make it to market, if it ever does. But the wait might well be worth it if it means you won’t have to purchase, carry around, protect, screw-on and screw-off different polarizing filters every time you need one.

(via Digital Photography Review)