Apple patents Lytro style technology; will it be used in the next iPhone?

Apple patents Lytro style technology; will it be used in the next iPhone?
Apple could be targeting the Apple iPhone 6 to debut Lytro style photography for the rear snapper on the phone. The Cupertino based tech giant just received a patent, No. 8,593,564, for a "digital camera including refocusable imaging mode adaptor". This will allow the user to take a picture at a certain resolution and refocus the picture after it is snapped. While the title of the patent mentions a digital camera, the patent makes it clear that it is a system that could be used on an iPhone.

Apple's late co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs was reported to be keenly interested in the technology and invited the inventor of the Lytro to visit his home for a private demonstration before the technology went public. Lytro does have an app in the Apple App Store and Nokia recently introduced a feature called Refocus for its PureView camera equipped phones. The patent was filed by Apple in 2011.

Lytro is listed as prior art in Apple's patent application, but the tech titan says improvements can be made in both picture quality and resolution. Apple's technology differs from Lytro's as it employs two separate modes. One is a high-resolution non-refocusable mode and the other is a low-resolution refocusable mode. The patent also covers an add-on version for any existing camera. Apple might consider using the technology for the video capture feature on a future iPhone model.

source: USPTO via AppleInsider



1. nerdylish

Posts: 51; Member since: Apr 13, 2013

Nokia Lumia already has an app for that. It's called Refocus.

3. saurik

Posts: 86; Member since: May 13, 2013

"The patent was filed by Apple in 2011." That's why it's better to read the article before jumping to the comments section.

6. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

This isn't an app - it does this in hardware, or the Lystro camera does. You really think an app will focus stuff well after the fact?

41. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Actually, we're already using the app, and it works greatâť•.. Quit being such a downer on WP.. It really makes you look sad..

44. johnbftl

Posts: 283; Member since: Jun 09, 2012

Where in this article does it say hardware buddy? It's impossible for hardware to do that. Try refocusing with a 35mm film camera after you've taken the image. What it is doing is essentially capturing a video or a burst of photos until you hit the capture button. It shows the image taken at the point you hit capture. From there you can roll back to a certain point before that was also digitally captured that was in focus. BlackBerry already had this in there Z10 and Q10. It's called Time Shift. It's nothing new. This is just Apple being Apple. To my point though, it's part of software, aka an app. It's not hardware.

7. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

Apple may have filed the patent in 2011, but they still haven't put the tech into their phones. Nokia acquired the tech this year, and we got it in the phones this year.

9. nerdylish

Posts: 51; Member since: Apr 13, 2013

You got me. :P

10. Dastrix unregistered

Nokia: Acquired Lytro technology, made an innovative app (all in one year, #innovation) Apple: Filed the patent in 2011, still no hardware and software support (#yolo)

23. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

This is not an app for the second time. Lytro is an actual camera that captures the light information and not just a 2d picture.

42. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Yeah, but Nokia has already started working on this with Pelican Imaging's 16 array lens.. Give credit where credit is due, and stop being so quick to be negative when you see something WP related. It's so obvious what you're doing..And it's pathetic.

11. Ashoaib

Posts: 3285; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Then how come apple got patent if other company developed it too?

37. cheetah2k

Posts: 2256; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Nek minit Apple patents Oxygen style air we breath.... Fcuks me how they get away with this BS

46. number29

Posts: 185; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

Maybe the other company's implementation is different?

12. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Ah... just in time for a patent fight between Nokia and Apple. I wonder how long before the lawsuits get filed?

17. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

Sorry, not going to happen. Apple's patent differs cuz it has two modes

27. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

Nokia ate Apple's lunch the last time they locked horns. How long before they get filed depends on who is going to be filing them.

33. sum182

Posts: 229; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

It wouldn't be Nokia this time depending on when it would happen (which i'm pretty sure it won't). It would be Microsoft

20. darkkjedii

Posts: 31066; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Read the article or shhhh

2. Ashoaib

Posts: 3285; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

OMG.. more cases, more put hold on technology

4. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Great com on enough with all these PATENT B.S. Apple is a patent whore.

15. Ashoaib

Posts: 3285; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

But its not their fault, they will apply for patent for each n everything... its US government who is at fault by keep granting them patent of whatever BS... one day they will take the patent of breathing and no one will be allowed to breath without apple's permission

24. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

Apple's the one suing though...and apparently against all reason and logic, as shown in the Apple-Samsung court case.

28. rawbow

Posts: 428; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

thankyou, you must be an exceptional lawyer to pass verdicts based on forum gossip! Patents protect rights and will help samsung too "if" someone is foolish enough to copy their tech.

31. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

Copy? Who's copying who? Look at the F700, the LG Prada, and then come back to argue with me.

34. Ninetysix

Posts: 2964; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

36. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

If we apply Apple patent logic to Apple itself. Apple has no right to be in the cell phone industries at all. Apple claim they should solely be the one to benefit from their innovation in smartphone but they forget 2G/3G smart phones was around longer than their iPhone such as Nokia N95. Apple also continue to manufacturer phones without paying royalties to the 3G patents owners. This happen because they think they could bully their way thru with the backing of US government. Apple fans are blindly devoted. And at iPhone Arena they have find a good place to piss at every Android news especially the ones from Samsung.

40. stealthd unregistered

You're not really making any sense there. The N95 is older so. . . Apple shouldn't be able to make a cell phone? Apple DOES pay royalties to 3G patent owners (that's a big part of what the whole Nokia v Apple suit was about). 3G patents are standard, meaning anyone can get into the game for a fair price, including Apple. You really think they'd be making phones for 6 years now and make the most money in the industry and somehow get away with not paying?

45. chemhaz

Posts: 161; Member since: May 04, 2012

All phone designs were heading for larger screens and fewer buttons. They all managed to release a touch screen phones around the same time... so the Apple concept design "purple" was either leaked (highly unlikely knowing what they are like), or they were all heading in the same direction, but I bet Sammy and LG got their product from concept to reality in less time.

39. stealthd unregistered

Wait, you mean the F700, the Samsung keyboard slider that was announced and released AFTER the iPhone, and the LG Prada that anyone with eyes can tell the iPhone wasn't based on?

47. number29

Posts: 185; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

Hang on, wasn't Samsung found guilty of infringement and fined a significant amount of money? That would indicate Apple were right to sue since they won the case so convincingly.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.