Smartphone cameras have come a long way, and we’re not just talking about image quality. From a raging megapixel war to built-in multi-sensor modules that give users access to super-wide as well as acro shots, today’s cameras have it all. However, night photography and low light are one area where camera sensors are developing but still haven’t reached their peak. So an app that lets your phone use night vision, that is seen in pitch darkness, sounds unconvincing.
However, the trick is possible if your smartphone happens to have something called a ToF (Time of Flight) sensor. These small sensors are being equipped with more and more phones for various reasons. On some phones, this sensor is on the front and works by sensing faces in 3D to unlock devices. On others, this sensor is on the rear and assists the main camera module with some pretty creative use-cases.
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However, today we’ll talk about how you can use your ToF-equipped phone to get night vision. Its pretty simple. All you need is this app called Night Vision / ToF Viewer. The app currently works with Huawei, Honor, and Samsung devices with the sensor.
Night Vision by developer Luboš Vonásek uses your phone’s ToF to quite literally “see in the dark”. The app’s interface essentially works like a camera that takes input from the sensor and gives you a low-resolution output. Not the clearest views, but it does let you see enough to identify what is what in dark environments and may be handy in emergency situations.
As per Max Weinbach from XDA, the app provides a better range on Huawei and Honor devices with the sensor and better quality on Samsung devices. The Night Vision / ToF Viewer app can be downloaded right from the Google Play Store. You will get outputs of resolution 240 x 180 on most supported devices. However, on some newer devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 + and the Galaxy S20+, the app can render surroundings in 320×240 resolution.