Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Technology and Ideas to Enhance Resolution of Smartphone Photographs

Request Number
Due Date
Jan 16
Program Manager

Licensing, contract/joint development.


Phase 1 – Prototype completion: By March 2020
Phase 2 – Implementation for actual products: October 2020


Necessary development expense will be covered
Details to be discussed).


How to  Apply
  • Click on "Respond", complete the form to the extent possible, and submit along with other attachment files available. 
  • After creating your account for NineSights, your draft will be automatically saved and you can resume later from "Control Center". Please note you do not submit confidential information at this process.
  • This request for proposals in PDF format is available here.
If you have any questions or request, please feel free to contact us at:
RFP was closed on
Jan 2019

RFP Title


Technology  and Ideas to Enhance Resolution of Smartphone Photographs
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing Shiseido* ( ), seeks image processing technologies and ideas pertaining to enhance resolution of images of skin surfaces taken by a smartphone camera. We are aiming to implement proposed technologies and ideas on commercial products (apps), which are due to be released in 2020.

* Shiseido: Shiseido Co., Ltd., and Shiseido Japan Co., Ltd.

Key Success Criteria


Technologies and ideas to enhance the resolution of images taken by a smartphone front camera (typical pixel number: 1.2 million)

  • Target sampling density: 300,000 pixels @5 mm x 7 mm
  • Must be realized with hardware available on commonly used smartphones (for example, iPhone 6) without using any external devices; preferably, should be independent on the performance of individual smartphone.
    • The front camera of iPhone 6 has pixel number of 1.2 million and no LED flash.
    • However, display backlight may be used as flash.
  • [For proposals on methods of taking photographs] Must not require the user to take any special action, and using the camera naturally, such as when taking a selfie, should be possible.
  • As shown below, the image after processing must be in focus, and the conditions of the skin surface must be clearly seen.

Possible Approaches

Possible Approaches

Possible approaches to create high-resolution images might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Super-resolution and edge-processing technologies
  • Processing of multiple images taken by a smartphone front camera
  • Processing an out-of-focus image to create a high-resolution, in-focus image
  • Creating a high-resolution image from a video taken by a smartphone front camera
  • Methods or ideas to let users easily take an in-focus image with the shortest focal distance by using a smartphone camera
Items to be Submitted


Shiseido, NineSigma’s client, is aiming to develop an application that can measure moisture, resilience, and smoothness of the texture in facial skin by taking photographs with a smartphone camera.

To conduct such measurements in a delicate manner, high-resolution images of skin surfaces are required. However, the images taken by a smartphone camera cannot provide the level of sampling density desired by the client.

Therefore, the client has issued this open request as a means to solicit technologies and ideas to realize higher-resolution images from the above-mentioned images so that the application is developed as soon as possible.


Notes on Response

Proposal shall have clear points and should not include confidential information. Supplemental files may be submitted in addition to the proposal.


Items to be Submitted

Proposal may include the following items along the response form shown by clicking the “Respond” button.

  • Several image files with different subjects processed by the proposed technology (range of skin area to be shot: about 5 mm x 7 mm; number of pixels: 300,000 or more), along with non-processed images and description of the following photographing conditions:
    • Model of the used smartphone and the pixel number of the smartphone camera
    • Time required to obtain high-resolution images (photograph taking + processing time)
  • Overview, principle, and uniqueness of the technology
  • Robustness of the proposed image processing against the shooting environment, such as lighting angles, or preconditions of the photographs to be analyzed
  • Any request regarding the form of partnership with the client
  • Current challenges and future plans (period and cost)
  • Organization overview


Response evaluation

The client will evaluate all responses with the following criteria.

  • Overall scientific and technical merit
  • Approach to proof of concept or performance
  • Economic potential of concept
  • Realism of the proposed plan (action items, timeline, roles, deliverables, cost estimation)
  • Potential for proprietary position
  • Respondents’ capability and related experiences


Anticipated Project Process

After reviewing submitted proposals, the client possibly ask clarifying questions before selecting the most suitable candidates for collaboration. The client will select best candidates through evaluations. During the selection process, the client may execute NDA with selected respondents, seek further information disclosure, and discuss specific development targets or potential opportunities.

The client will execute necessary agreements with the selected respondents and move to the advanced development phase. Specifics of any collaboration will be determined through consultation with the concerned parties.

Preferred Collaboration Types
Area of Interest