Engadget reports Pelican Imaging has created a prototype of a plenoptic camera for cell phones. This new type of camera uses an array of very small lenses and is significantly smaller than traditional cameras.
Interestingly, this type of camera also allows you to change the focal plane of an image after it was taken.
If you want to look for life on another planet you don't build one radio telescope that's miles wide, you build a bunch of smaller ones and create an array out of them. As it turns out that basic idea works for capturing visible wavelengths as well. It's called a plenoptic camera, using an array of very small lenses that, when combined, can create an image as good as a larger one. Pelican Imaging is largely interested in the slim factor this kind of system could offer, potentially allowing for thinner phones, but this could also open the door to some interesting effects.