Say Cheese! Apple patent application lets the camera select the best shot

Say Cheese! Apple patent application lets the camera select the best shot
How would you like to take pictures on your Apple iPhone knowing that you automatically will get the best shot from among the pictures you've taken? A new patent application by Apple is for something exactly like that. As long as the shutter is depressed or the screen is touched, images are stored in a buffer. Once the shutter is released, the camera scores all of the pictures based on pre-determined variables like contrast, image resolution, dynamic range and color rendering properties. The highest scoring picture is the one you receive. That picture, in full resolution, is then available to be viewed on the screen upon request. The picture could be one image taken, or a combination of images from different pictures that results in the highest score.

Every so often, the buffer is purged to make sure it has enough memory available for the next picture. The application was first filed in October 2012 as part of another co-pending filing from 2009, and lists Ralph Brunner, Nikhil Bhogal and James David Batson as the inventors. It is unknown whether the system is used now in iOS devices like the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad although it would seem that certain aspects of it are currently in place.

source: USPTO via AppleInsider



1. wendygarett unregistered

Nice but... Why must patent? :(

13. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

First of all, i no longer like iPhone so Alan, the answer to your question is "no, i would not like it" Second, i won't trust a device to pick the best photo out of the lot, although the algorithm may read right, it's not all that. I see it when the photo is good. Thirdly, (let's come back to your topic Wendy) the game Apple is playing with patents is not the way technology should work. Apple patents everything they think is original. Sadly, the word "original" is no longer how Apple works. It's the green paper they want to squeeze out of every point they can make.

43. tahnik

Posts: 201; Member since: Jul 17, 2011

bitch w995 had this feature...

2. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Isn't this already there on some phone ... asking because i just can't imagine Apple spending money on R&D (read Patent) on something that has not been done by someone else already :)

7. joseph98

Posts: 167; Member since: Feb 03, 2012

Yes in galaxy note II, we have a feature called best photos where the phone will take a burst 8 images then the phone will suggest the best picture out of the 8 so you can either go with phone suggestions or pick the one you like the most to be saved while the other 7 pictures will be automatically deleted from your phone. OK I can see samsung removing this feature once apple is granted the patent and then sue samsung in the near future.

19. rickywinataa

Posts: 262; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

i don't think apple would be able to do that, samsung has used the feature since Q2 '12 and apple started to file the patent since Q3 '12.

34. joseph98

Posts: 167; Member since: Feb 03, 2012

But the news said the co-pending filing started in 2009 which mean samsung is in troubled again along with all other phone manufacturers that uses this feature without paying apple. The application was first filed in October 2012 as part of another co-pending filing from 2009, and lists Ralph Brunner, Nikhil Bhogal and James David Batson as the inventors.

35. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

But the way the US patent office works is, it's given to the first person to apply for the patent, NOT the person who actually creates it first. So if Samsung did not patent their technology then Apple may have a chance to patent it, and sue Samsung again because Apple will claim it as theirs.

42. bipinm

Posts: 124; Member since: Oct 07, 2012

sony ericsson k790 had that feature...I think that was the first phone to have that feature...the phone take 9 pics and let the user decidewhich photos have to be saved...that was a noce feature...And apple cant sue anyone with that patent...

15. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Yes, it is available in numerous other applications. joseph gives an example. Dedicated cameras have similar 'best-photo' pre-programmed scene modes that function almost exactly as described in the iApplication. Hopefully, the USPTO rejects the iApplication as invalid on prior art grounds.

17. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

It appears that the 2009 application hasn't issued, so USPTO may be having heartburn with Apple. Sometimes, you get an examiner who has an interest (photography) in the subject matter. That would seem to be an iNightmare scenario for Apple - an examiner with good technical subject matter expertise.

24. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

USPTO == US Patent Troll's Office.

40. xtremesv

Posts: 299; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

it's different, now your iPhone will tell you: "you're shooting them wrong!"

3. nlbates66

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

aren't various phones already out with an equivalent feature? Galaxy S III certainly has various implementations of it.

5. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

true. Many phones already have this feature. Their theory behind selecting the best image maybe different than that of Apple's but the idea of selecting the best picture is already present amongst several phones. How on earth they get patent everytime they file for one ? when there is similar technology which is already implemented, whereas they haven't even introduced or implemented the technology !

4. amozhi

Posts: 131; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Pathetic...Samsung Galaxy S3 already has this feature implemented.

12. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

actually •_•) the HTC ONE X ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) had this feature first

6. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Why does apple still need to patent this? Other manufacturers already have this feature

31. lolioslol

Posts: 182; Member since: Dec 10, 2012

You're not familiar with apple and how they "innovate" (STEAL) are you?

8. nikenturd unregistered

There you go, another stupid patent .... imagine if they came up with the 'burst shot' ....Apple is trolling like crazy these days

9. darkkjedii

Posts: 31601; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Apple isn't patenting the feature, but the particular way it's done on iOS. Re read the articl people

16. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Just because a feature is implemented in a different way in iOS does not make it patentable. My Canon PowerShot G9 (circa 2005?) does burst mode where multiple pics are taken with aperture and shutter speed selected by the camera. Adding dynamic range into the mix is not in-and-of-itself unique and innovative. There is too much prior art around that can invalidate any patent that iApple might be able to game out of the USPTO.

25. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Yea it's something like patenting how to use the tissue paper to wipe the @rse in a particular way. Who knows that's next from Apple ...

10. Angkor

Posts: 108; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S3 has a software and programmed to select the best picture but Apple is a camera that select the best picture is very crazy ideas. I hope USPO will not award Apple for crazy ideas.

11. nikenturd unregistered

My antiquated Nikon Coolpix point and shoot already has this feature...WOW....i am amazed

14. jade272727

Posts: 62; Member since: Dec 10, 2011


18. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I think you meant to say iFlop.

20. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Thought we agreed not too post any dumb ipatents articles. Y the hell are u trying too control uspto apple?

21. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Look like Apple is planning another year of patent warfares instead of innovating their product. So sad!

22. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

Two words "burst mode"

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