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Toni Kovaniemi, Managing Director and Head of System Design at poLight Finland

Toni Kovaniemi, Managing Director and Head of System Design at poLight Finland introduces his team and tells how poLight is going to change the world of smartphones and cameras.

What does poLight do?

PoLight logo

poLight ASA is a Norwegian technology company, and our product is an autofocus actuator for use in e.g. smartphone cameras. The patented TLens is fast, small, energy efficient and provides a stable field of view – a totally new way of providing autofocus for a camera.
For further details on how TLens works, please see our website.

– At the moment we are concentrating on making our first breaktrough in the mobile phones, but we are also exploring other opportunities TLens enables. Potential areas of use range from AR/VR and barcode readers to medical and automotive industries, and more.

Tampere Imaging Ecosystem: What poLight offers
Copyright: PoLight


What is the role of the poLight Tampere site?

– The Tampere team consists of former Nokia and Microsoft people who’ve got sound understanding of camera phones and the global mobile phone industry. It is because of these experts poLight made the decision, in summer 2016, to move quickly and establish a competence centre in Tampere.

– We are a small but efficient team, six people at the moment in a company that has around 35 people altogether. The Tampere team is developing TLens system solutions, mechanical design and supplier management.

Originally poLight came to Tampere for talent – what else did it get?

– Tampere offers plenty of opportunities for cooperation, from partners to suppliers and also possible customers. There are useful networks and services that poLight is using, if not daily, then at least every week to achieve its goals. It is unique to have such a large variety of expert services, like design, simulations etc, in one region – and often they are available in this very neighbourhood.

– The universities in Tampere are a source of new talent, but I think at a later stage poLight might also be interested in joint research projects.

– poLight is Scandinavian in many ways but also truly international. Tampere Region can easily offer a matching atmosphere with talent from all over the world.

How did you join poLight?

– After many years in Nokia a small and agile company seemed very interesting, not to mention the fact that it was an imaging related one and the team consisted of people I had already worked with.

– My educational background is M.Sc, Computer Science at the University of Tampere and I started at Nokia in 2008 as an Imaging Algorithms Team Leader. I left Nokia in 2016 and worked elsewhere for a while until the poLight opportunity came up. 

What is the fondest memory in your career so far?

– At a certain period I was involved in developing the Nokia S40 low cost phones for emerging markets. Those devices were sold in unbelievable volumes, in tens of millions. They were often very important to their owners and provided them the means of communication they hadn’t had before. And think of the amount of photos that has been taken with these devices! Having been able to help create something that big and life-changing makes me humble – and proud.

How do you see the future?

– I think at poLight we have the opportunity to make another world-scale change happen. Our component might be in millions of smartphones – we are looking into that right now.

Author: Päivi Stenroos

Toni Kovaniemi

Managing Director and Head of System Design at poLight Finland

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