Jan 19, 2022
A proposal is being written in response to a government SBIR proposal request.

The proposal request requires two or more cell phones be in a totally enclosed dark hemispherical container. Two or more phones are to be distributed around the container's inner wall where they are to be mounted. The hemisphere, or dome, has a diameter of roughly 3 feet.

One of the phones will take a picture with its flash. The other phones will take a picture without flash by holding the equivalent of their shutters open long enough, and with the right timing, to use the flashing phone's illumination before closing.

Then each phone in the container will, in turn, take a picture with its flash, and all other phones will use that flash from that currently flashing phone to get a picture in the same way as before.

When all phones have flashed, the images from all phones will be transferred to a PC, or a master phone which would be one of the phones taking the pictures, for image processing. The transfer can be by Bluetooth, or USB cable, which ever would require the least development effort.

I am not at liberty to say what image processing will be done with the pictures, or what the cameras will be photographing.

The scenario that comes to mind is that the non flashing phones are set to an exposure time long enough to assure the flash from the flashing phone is captured. Then those cameras are all triggered, and then the flashing phone's camera is triggered.

Another scenario is that the non flashing phones be commanded to hold their shutters open. The flashing phone takes it shot. Then the non flashing phones are commanded to close their shutters.

For Phase 1 proof of concept USB connections are not required. Phase 2 will require USB connections to at least keep them charged, if USB is not use for communication.

My questions:

1) Will acquiring the images in this way require a custom phone application in each phone?

2) Which Android phone is best suited for this task?

3) Can this be done entirely, or in part, with MacroDroid?

4) If a custom app is required, what IDE should be used? The project is on a low budget, so an IDE licensing cost is a factor. Is Android Studio up to it?

5) If custom software is required, which camera API should be used for this?
I've not a dev of course, but will try to answer on what I know.

1) Almost certain, yes. This project will a require a custom made app(s).

2) I guess anything, as long as it's reasonable specs and has a good camera.

3) MacroDroid was designed for automating tasks on a single devices AFAIK. And from what you describe, may not be suitable for something as ambitious as your project.

4) I know Android apps are usually developed and built using Android Studio, which is free open source software(FOSS).

5) Not a clue.
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