Sony preps Bluetooth lens attachments for iPhones, Android phones

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A set of images leaked on Monday claim to show off a new device from Sony aimed at turning smartphones like the iPhone into something approaching a full-fledged camera.

The photos supposedly reveal Sony's "lens-camera" device, which the company is preparing to release in the near future, according to Sony Alpha Rumors. The devices will essentially pack the power of a high-end point-and-shoot camera into a lens that attaches to a smartphone and pairs with an Android or iOS app over Bluetooth.

Of the two variations planned, one will feature the same sensor-lens pairing from the Sony RX100, one of Sony's more celebrated point-and-shoot cameras of late. That will mean a 1-inch, 20.2-megapixel Exmor R sensor with a 2/1.8 Carl Zeiss lens. The other device is said to have an 18-megapixel CMOS sensor with a 10x zoom lens, similar to the $400 Sony WX150.

The DSC-QX10 and the DSC-QX100 will have built-in camera sensors, Bionz processor, Wi-Fi, near-field communications connectivity, and an SD card slot. Those wireless connectivity options, paired with the requisite mobile apps, will allow users to control the lens-cameras with their smartphones.

Judging from the leaked press shots for the devices, users will not be required to center the lenses over the built-in lens of a smartphone. A number of manufacturers have attempted to push lens attachments for devices like the iPhone, but both the success and the quality of those products have been questionable.

The new lens-cameras do not yet have a specific release date, as they have not even been announced. Some speculate, though, that Sony could well reveal them on September 4.