Apple granted patent for a breakthrough camera invention – future iPhones may have zoom lens, more efficient OIS


Apple hasn't been neglecting the camera in its iPhones, making it noticeably better with each next iteration of its flagship. The snapper of the iPhone 6 and especially the iPhone 6 Plus, which is a bit better at photography, is among the top performers in the field, though, bested by Samsung's Note 4 (and we are expecting great things from the Galaxy S6). However, Cupertino will not be giving up on the race, it seems, as it has applied for, and has been granted, a patent on a new type of tech that will allow for zoom lens to be sticked into the small body of a smartphone, and could possibly employ an innovative take on optical image stabilization (OIS).

In order to achieve this, Apple's engineers came up with an L-shaped camera module – the sensor does not face directly outwards, as it does in today's smartphones, rather – the light first enters a pyramid-like polyhedron glass piece, which has a reflecting surface at its very bottom. This component will be redirecting the light down the tube of the L-shape where it will be met by the zoom lens. Finally, a light splitter behind the lens will split the incident light from the shot scene into three colors, which will then be picked up by three separate sensors – one for each color.

As for OIS – Apple has noted that the reflector behind the polyhedron could be a folding mirror, which would mean that the reflector itself could be moved around in order to make up for camera shakes, instead of the sensor.

When would we see this tech? It's still too early to say, but if we had to wager, we'd say – not on 2015's iPhones, for sure.

source: PatentlyApple via GSMDome

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