Apple has been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (via AppleInsider) for a digital camera including a refocusable imaging mode adapter, with the document also discussing the potential use of a similar camera system in a device like the iPhone.
The patent details a camera that is able to be configured to operate in a lower-resolution mode that includes refocusing capability in addition to a high-resolution non-refocusable mode, with the camera's body containing an image mode adaptor to switch between the two.
Also cited in the patent is the plenoptic imaging system used in the Lytro light-field camera, which Apple draws inspiration from but points out that its own microlens array can produce higher-quality images because of a higher spatial resolution. Apple also cites the Lytro's camera system as prior art in the patent.
Microlens (440) inserted into light path for lower-resolution refocusable images
A digital camera system configurable to operate in a low-resolution refocusable mode and a high-resolution non-refocusable mode comprising: a camera body; an image sensor mounted in the camera body having a plurality of sensor pixels for capturing a digital image;
An imaging lens for forming an image of a scene onto an image plane, the imaging lens having an aperture; and an adaptor that can be inserted between the imaging lens and the image sensor to provide the low-resolution refocusable mode and can be removed to provide the high-resolution non-refocusable mode,
The adaptor including a microlens array with a plurality of microlenses; wherein when the adaptor is inserted to provide the low-resolution refocusable mode, the microlens array is positioned between the imaging lens and the image sensor.
Microlens (440) removed from light path for higher-resolution standard images
Apple's patent outlines how such a lens system could be integrated with a more complete camera solution incorporating image correction and other features, either in a standalone product or within a mobile device.
The Lytro-like technology naturally leads to speculation that it could be used in Apple's rumored standalone point-and-shoot digital camera, which was first rumored in 2012 after Steve Jobs was quoted his biography done by Walter Isaacson stating his desires for the future involved the reinvention of three industries, with one of them being photography. Isaacson's biography also noted that Jobs had met with the CEO of Lytro, although it has been unclear how much direct interest Apple had in Lytro's technology.
Apple today released iOS 16.0.2, addressing a number of bugs that iPhone 14 owners have been experiencing since the new devices launched. iOS 16.0.2 comes two weeks after the launch of iOS 16, and it follows iOS 16.0.1, an update made available to iPhone 14 owners on launch day. The update is available for all iPhones that are capable of running iOS 16.
The iOS 16.0.2 update can be...
The Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra are now available to purchase, but if you aren't interested in these updates you can save a lot of money on Series 7 models right now on Amazon.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
The best deals are on cellular...
Thursday September 22, 2022 7:57 am PDT by Sami Fathi
A copycat version of the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island has arrived on Android's Google Play Store in the form of an app called "dynamicSpot."
The app, still in beta, offers customers several different experiences at the top of their smartphones. In its current form, dynamicSpot offers playback control for songs, timers, battery status, and more features coming soon, according to the app's...
Wednesday September 21, 2022 7:49 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple on Friday released the new iPhone 14 models, and MacRumors videographer Dan picked one up on launch day. He's been using the iPhone 14 Pro Max non-stop since it came out, and over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, has shared his initial thoughts on the day-to-day experience with the latest iPhone.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Dan's mini review highlights...
Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro models in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report does not mention specific models, but it very likely refers to the next-generation 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros given that the 13-inch model was already updated earlier this year.
There has been uncertainty surrounding the timing of new 14-inch and...
Thursday September 22, 2022 5:12 am PDT by Sami Fathi
Meta is facing a new proposed class action lawsuit that accuses it of tracking and collecting the personal data of iPhone users, despite features and policies made by Apple which are meant to stop that same type of tracking.
In August, it was revealed that with the Facebook and Instagram apps, Meta can track all of a user's key taps, keyboard inputs, and more, when using the in-app browser....
Upon the release of the second-generation AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max became the oldest current-generation AirPods product still in Apple's lineup. Introducing several new features like Adaptive Transparency and the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Pro may provide some of the best indications yet of what to expect from the second-generation AirPods Max.
Almost two years later, rumors...
Apple today explained why the new silicone ear tips for the second-generation AirPods Pro are not officially compatible with the original AirPods Pro.
In an updated support document, Apple said the original AirPods Pro ear tips have "noticeably denser mesh" than the second-generation ear tips. Apple did not provide any additional details, but the mesh density could result in acoustical...
Friday September 23, 2022 9:40 am PDT by Sami Fathi
Customers who personalize their second-generation AirPods Pro charging case with an engraving will now have that engraving reflected directly on iOS as they pair and connect their AirPods Pro. Apple allows customers to personalize their AirPods Pro charging case with a special engraving that can include select emojis and Memojis. Unlike before, starting with the second-generation AirPods...