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    AAC Technologies

    Interview with Senior Director Eero Päivänsalo and Senior Manager Ossi Pirinen of AAC Technologies.

    Interview with Senior Director Eero Päivänsalo and Senior Manager Ossi Pirinen of AAC Technologies

    The imaging companies in Tampere have an exceptionally deep understanding of customer needs. Senior Director Eero Päivänsalo and Senior Manager Ossi Pirinen of AAC Technologies can explain, why. They joined AAC when the company opened an R&D center in Tampere.

    AAC Technologies logo horisontal 3

    What does AAC Technologies do?

    – AAC Technologies is a total solution provider for smart devices and has a special emphasis on developing solutions for enhancing the user experience.

    – AAC operates in many application areas: smartphones, wearables, tablets and notebooks, AR/VR/MR, robotics, smart home, smart cars and drones. The most important area is smartphones where 90 per cent of flagship phones use AAC components.


    The Tampere site is an Imaging Solutions R&D center. What is your focus?

    –  To innovate new imaging solutions that fulfill customer needs or even go beyond them. Like the company in general, also our Tampere site doesn’t do just components but total solutions. We are aiming for the best user experience.

    – An important building block is AAC’s experience and capability to make nanoscale high precision structures. One key for that is AAC’s Wafer Level Glass  technology, which allows us to manufacture large number of glass lenses on a single glass wafer with very high accuracy and quality.


    Why Tampere?

    – Because the local imaging ecosystem is important for the innovative work we do. Thanks to the Nokia mobile camera development legacy, Tampere has a high density of skilled imaging experts who now work in a wide range of imaging companies that complement each other.

    – Tampere University of Technology (TUT) is a continuous resource of skilled students who are eager to learn and develop new technologies. Cooperation with TUT gives us vast possibilities in technology development, direct access to important technology building blocks and global networks built by the TUT researchers.


    Examples of your partners in the Tampere business ecosystem:

    – At the moment there are about 15 imaging-related companies in Tampere, either building products or offering specialized services, and we do cooperate with several of them. For example companies like NomiCam and OptoFidelity offer such unique expertise in their respective fields that there is no reason why we shouldn’t use their services at some point.


    What’s particularly strong or unique in Tampere?

    – The imaging companies in Tampere have a strong understanding of customer needs and how to satisfy them. This originates from Nokia where almost everything – from basic science and engineering to design and future visioning – was done by the company itself. Tampere was central for the imaging solutions, and people who did all that are still here. They are still working in imaging companies and they form a basis for the Tampere imaging ecosystem.

    – When building user experience for smartphone photography, you can only go so far with engineering and technical excellence. In addition you need to know human perception and psychology, and understand how technologies and consumer needs are changing in the years to come.


    How do you see the future?

    – AAC plans to increase the headcount of Tampere R&D center up to 100 employees over the next years. Our site will be AAC’s Center of Competence for imaging, including research and development of solutions for sensing, optical design and image processing.

    – There are most interesting challenges ahead around both consumer cameras and innovative imaging applications. For example automotive industry needs more and more imaging innovations – for example, as soon as in 2021 a new car is expected to have circa 18 different cameras.


    About your background…

    – Eero: I’ve been interested in imaging since my student days. I’ve studied at TUT and worked with imaging space electronics in Patria, phone cameras in Nokia Mobile Phones and Microsoft, and Ozo next generation cameras in Nokia.

    – Ossi: I’ve studied at TUT and after graduation I did some research work there, then worked at OptoFidelity, Nokia, Microsoft and Nokia again. It is the combination of visual applications of science and developing consumer devices that does it for me.


    What is the fondest memory or achievement in your career?

    – Success is not just numbers. To make someone’s holiday pictures better is an achievement just as well as the sales volumes. Keeping that in mind, here are our top stories so far:

    – Eero: Leading the Lumia 1020 “monster” camera module project, contributing to the effort of making it work and seeing the pics that could be taken with it. Also, the delivery of detector electronics unit for ESA’s wind measuring satellite and delivery of detect electronics to NASA’s Ozone Monitoring Instrument. So, be it a single device in a satellite or million phone cameras in peoples’ everyday life, quality is always what you need.

    – Ossi: Contributing in the last flagship Lumia devices’ cameras, 950 and 950XL, the best cameras we ever created, especially from the user experience point of view. I was involved in anything and everything an engineer can do. Even a bit more, since I helped to recruit a model for the marketing photo shoot and in fact one of the photos is taken by me.

    Author: Päivi Stenroos

    Eero Päivänsalo

    Director, AAC Technologies

    Ossi Pirinen

    Senior Manager, AAC Technologies

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