Apple might be working on a mirror- and magnet-based optical image stabilization technology


According to one of Apple's most recent patent applications, Cupertino might be working on a new type of optical image stabilization system for mobile devices, which will make use of complex mirror-to-mirror technology, dubbed "mirror tilt actuation". It is touted as being superior to OIS, which is tipped as being good, but not good enough.

The patent application reveals that Apple's mirror-based image stabilization tech will compensate jerky motions that users tend to produce with their hands while bringing out their photography-savvy inner self. Unlike the existing OIS technology which either moves the whole lens setup or tilts both the lens and the camera sensor, the tech that Cupertino's reportedly prepping in its labs consists of a camera sensor and lens elements that are independent from one another. 

Here come mirrors - they navigate light from the lens straight to the camera sensor, somewhat similar to the way a submarine or a tank periscope works. The mirror will be paired with an actuator, which will tilt it and compensate user-induced movements that will normally add a solid amount of blur in the picture. The actuator itself will be powered by magnets.

As a refresher, both of Apple's newest phones, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus come with image stabilization on board - the 4.7-inch model uses digital one, while the largest iPhone ever uses both digital and optical stabilizations on board. From the looks of it, some of the upcoming iPhone iterations might end up with a new type of image stabilization. It is more than welcome.


source: USPTO via AppleInsider

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20 Comments

1. ilovephablets

Posts: 45; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Android all the way

2. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

"Let me rush to an article and sing the song of my people." No.

3. PeterK.

Posts: 314; Member since: Nov 13, 2013

Pretty much.

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Bring back the down vote option because that clearly deserved one.

6. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I have been asking for the red thumbs down for more than half a year... Some of this new blood around here are VERY deserving of it. lol +1

9. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2281; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

I don't think it's a good idea. Certain Trolls love the red thumbs.

12. tedkord

Posts: 17513; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Nevermind the down vote, bring an edit button to the mobile site. I hate having to switch to desktop version when autocorrect bites me,then switch back to mobile. It wouldn't be so bad if not for the time limit on edits.

17. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

We all know that they're not the one manufacturing the camera. It's only the os.

5. Macready

Posts: 1830; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Actually, the mirrors and prisms are mostly there to redirect light vertically into the body, which in turn allows for more space to employ optical ZOOM. Similar to what Sony used in their T compact cameras.http://2.static.img-dpreview.com/files/p/articles/0708368277/sony_dsct9phant.jpeg

7. Macready

Posts: 1830; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

But I should add that it also limits the diameter of the elements further (thin bodies), thus (asside from limitations due to zoom mechanism), further limiting maximum apertures = maximum amount of light. No free lunch.

10. mixedfish

Posts: 1570; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Apple already sticks with tiny 1/3" sensors, wouldn't be hard to add these things in larger phones like the iP6+.

11. Macready

Posts: 1830; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Surface size isn't the issue, thinness is. Maximum diameter of lens elements will be far less than the thickness of the phone.

8. guest

Posts: 372; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

This will go great in the smoke and mirrors that is the iPhone.

13. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Pretty impressive smoke and mirrors to be the most popular phone in the world.

14. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

The fact that a trick would allegedly be the most popular in the world does not make it more real, it does not change the fact that it is still a trick, impressive or not.

15. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Lol you missed my point. If it really was a trick, do you honestly think people wouldn't catch on? Maybe, just maybe, there is a chance that the iphone is a great smartphone....I know, pure silly talk.

16. ameran

Posts: 344; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

This is just a patent. It means that Apple doesn't have even a little clue how to build it, but they will sue companies who make it a reality.

20. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

Sony's already done that on some of their Cybershot cameras

18. mattkl

Posts: 255; Member since: Feb 01, 2010

Why is this article focused on the image stabilizer and not the optical zoom? We have OIS and even if it's not as good as this new idea, it works great! What I'm excited about is the horizontal/vertical periscope optical internal zoom mechanism shown. Look again, that's what awesome about this. Looks like some good focal length. Or maybe I'm the only one that sees these things.

19. zeljonsu

Posts: 22; Member since: May 24, 2012

magnets... how do they work?

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