There is no doubt that smartphones have slowly but surely started to replace the capabilities of compact cameras. Just taking a look at Nokia’s year-old Lumia 1020, the 41 megapixel lens vastly outstrips most of the compact cameras of today.

Could Microsoft be aiming to merge the two concepts even further together? It definitely seems like a possibility, as the company has just signed a broad patent cross-licensing agreement with camera giant Canon.

While it isn’t explicably stated, Microsoft could be looking to Canon to furnish their next Lumia smartphone models with state-of-the-art Canon lenses, other than the traditionally-used Carl Zeiss lenses. For the same argument, Canon could also be looking to integrate Microsoft’s technology into their cameras.

“This collaborative approach with Canon allows us to deliver inventive technologies that benefit consumers around the world. Microsoft believes cooperative licensing is an effective way to accelerate innovation while reducing patent disputes,” said Nick Psyhogeos, general manager for IP Licensing of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft in a press statement.

According to the media release, the agreement “covers a broad range of products and services each company offers” which includes digital imaging and mobile consumer products. But don’t get your hopes up on the specifics of the models as the “contents of the agreement will not be disclosed.”

“This agreement is a natural extension of our longstanding relationship with Microsoft and commitment to developing innovative technologies,” said Hideki Sanatake, senior general manager for Corporate Intellectual Property & Legal Headquarters at Canon.

[Image – CC by 2.0/assillo]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.