Apple patent shows dual-camera design with telephoto lens

by Gannon Burgett

posted Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 4:12 PM EDT


A patent published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office details a new camera concept Apple may be looking to implement into future devices.

Originally filed back in October of 2013, the patent lays out the groundwork for a mobile imaging system comprised of two separate camera modules. One module would consist of a normal-wide-angle lens, similar to what is currently in Apple devices. The other would consist of a telephoto lens, to give the iPhone camera system more reach and capabilities.

Dual cameras in an iPhone is a rumor that has long been floating around the web. But even with this patent out in the wild, there’s no definitive answers on whether or not we’ll be seeing it in an upcoming device.

A diagram of the telephoto lens element laid out in the patent.

As for the application of the technology in this patent, there are a handful of implementations Apple could be looking at. Beyond the obvious advantage of a more far-reaching lens system, the dual-lens setup could provide capabilities similar to what Lytro and Light are doing by better detecting depth in an image.

Interestingly enough, this patent falls right in line with the technology driving LinX, the imaging startup Apple recently purchased for $20 million.

You can take a look at the patent in its entirety, here.

(via TechnoBuffalo)