Huawei and Leica Camera have announced an expansion to their existing partnership with the establishment of the Max Berek Innovation Lab – a jointly operated research and innovation centre.
The firms will pursue research and development (R&D) projects at the facility with the intention of improving smartphone camera offerings.
Further development of optical systems and software-based technologies will be driven to improve imaging quality in a wide range of photographic and mobile device applications.
This comes seven months after the public announcement of a long-term technology partnership in the field of optical engineering between the two enterprises, in addition to being five months after the launch of the multiple-award winning Huawei P9 and P9 Plus smartphones, which have enjoyed success all over the world.
The lab is named for Max Berek (1886 – 1949), the microscopy pioneer and creator of the first Leica lenses, who was also responsible for the optical design of more than 20 lenses for the 35mm camera.
The imaging performance and harmonisation of his lenses made it possible for Leica to become successful as a 35mm photography company.
Leica's global headquarters in the German city of Wetzlar will house the new lab, which is expected to team up with German and international universities and research institutions, as well as using the R&D resources of both Leica and Huawei.
The creation of computational imaging, augmented reality and virtual reality solutions are also on the list of intended outcomes.
Ren Zhengfei, chief executive officer of Huawei and Dr Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and chairman of the advisory board of Leica Camera, signed the agreement on the establishment of the Max Berek Innovation Lab this month.
Mr Zhengfei said he expects 90 per cent of data traffic to be accounted for by images and videos in the near future, which is why the development of improvements to these services is important.
“The Max Berek Innovation Lab provides the capacity to establish an even closer partnership with Leica, leading to continuous improvements in image and video quality. As a result, we will deliver the most advanced innovations in the smartphone camera market and bring greater value to consumers,” he commented.
Dr Kaufmann expressed optimism that exciting new technologies will result from the two companies working together in this fashion.
“With the founding of the Max Berek Innovation Lab, Huawei and Leica Camera AG are expanding the scope of their successful strategic relationship and are laying the foundation for close collaboration in research and development of groundbreaking technologies in the imaging segment,” he said.
Director of the Max Berek Innovation Lab and chief operating officer of Leica Camera Markus Limberger praised both his company and Huawei for “their dedication to providing the highest quality standards”.
He noted that both enterprises share years of research experience and a strong capacity for innovation.