Apple’s iPhone 6 has a remarkable design — just ask Samsung — but one that’s far from being perfect. Aside from the bending issues that affected some iPhone 6 Plus users after the phone was launched last September, there’s one tiny but annoying design detail the company was not able to fix in time for the phone’s launch. But Apple is apparently working on ways of preventing such design issues in future iPhones while simultaneously improving one of the best features of the iPhone, a new patent discovered by AppleInsider seems to indicate.
The iPhone 6’s protruding camera, present on both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone models, is something even Jony Ive regrets, and it’s a design choice Apple even tried to hide on its website when posting official images of the handset.
But the bump of the rear camera is warranted, and many people will not mind having a camera that sticks out of the phone’s back as long as it can take impressive pictures. And Apple has never compromised on image quality in its iPhones, improvimg the cameras on each new iPhone generation.
The new patent, called “System and method for capturing images,” details means for improving the amount of light that reaches a camera sensor on a mobile device, which could let Apple come up with even slimmer iPhone and iPad designs, and prevent future camera bulges.
The system would capture light from two apertures beaming to a single image sensor, and thus improve image quality while reducing the space the camera hardware occupies.
The invention, if applied in future iPhone and iPad designs, would let Apple replace multi-sensor setups with a single imaging package that would receive light from two apertures, possibly from opposite directions, after being guided by a complex system of lenses and mirrors.
Apple describes electrically switchable mirrors that can transition between reflective and transmissive modes when a current passes, in order to allow light to pass in a certain manner towards the image sensor.
As with other Apple patents describing potential features that might be used in future iPhone models, it’s not clear at this time whether this camera invention will be used in Apple’s 2015 iPhones or in any iPhones.