Periscope camera for the coming iPhone generations
According to reports from market observers, Apple plans to equip the next generation of iPhones, or at least the next but one, with periscope cameras. Allegedly, the iPhone company has been looking for suppliers who can supply it with the appropriate modules for some time. However, as with other technologies, Apple does not rely exclusively on external know-how in this case, but also develops its own activities. That shows a now published Patent application.
Conventional technology sets limits
The protective document published by the US Patent & Trademark Office is entitled “Camera Including Two Light Folding Elements”. Apple deals in detail with a periscope system, which, given its dimensions, is expressly intended for iPhones and iPads. Despite all the advances in smartphones and tablets, conventional camera technology still limits both the image resolution and the quality of the recordings, notes Apple. The company therefore wants to use two prisms or mirrors to deflect the light in such a way that, despite the extremely compact design, the image quality is improved and a zoom function is enabled at the same time.
Innovative arrangement of the individual elements
Periscope constructions for cameras are basically not new. In the technology described in the patent application, however, Apple relies on an innovative arrangement of the individual elements and, in addition, the use of active components. For example, the iPhone group places the lens system between two prisms or mirrors. In addition, the actual lens should be movable in one or more axes with the help of various actuators. In addition, Apple wants to integrate both optical image stabilization and auto focus. The company is aiming for a maximum aperture of 2.8 to 3.5 with a fixed focal length of 35 millimeters; with a zoom lens (up to five times) this value would of course change accordingly.
Numerous different configurations
Apple describes a whole range of different camera configurations in the 43-page, richly illustrated protective document. It is therefore not possible to draw conclusions as to which systems could possibly be used in future iPhone and iPad generations. It is not known whether Apple is already developing or even testing devices with the technology explained in the patent application.