Apple Taps UK Engineer for New Optical Image Stabilization System for iOS Device Cameras

In line with yesterday's report claiming that the iPhone 6 will retain an 8-megapixel rear camera while focusing on other aspects such as image stabilization to improve performance, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office yesterday published an Apple patent application (via Unwired View) outlining a system for implementing optical image stabilization (OIS) with improved autofocus (AF) capabilities in miniature camera such as those found on iOS devices.

Apple's iPhone 5s introduced last September includes software-based image stabilization, a system that involves taking four photos in quick succession and then combining the best parts of each to produce a final image minimizing noise, subject motion, and hand shake. Optical image stabilization, found in some smartphones and many standalone cameras, allows the actual camera lens to move slightly, buffering against hand shake and other small movements.

camera_module_external
The newly published patent application from Apple describes a method for integrating optical image stabilization into the voice coil motor (VCM) actuators used for autofocus in miniature cameras.

An embodiment of the invention is an actuator module suitable for use in a camera, more specifically, a miniature camera. The actuator module may include a mechanism to provide an AF function and a mechanism to provide an OIS function. [...]

The combination of the AF mechanism and OIS mechanism within a single actuator module allows the actuator module to modify the position of the lens relative to the image sensor along five different axes (i.e., 5 degrees of freedom (DOF)). Representatively, the lens may be shifted or translated along at least three different axes and rotated about at least two different axes.

camera_module_internal
Apple's patent application, filed in October 2012 and based on a provisional patent application filed in July of that year, credits a sole inventor, Richard Topliss. According to his LinkedIn profile, Topliss joined Apple as a senior camera technology specialist in January 2012 after spending over a decade as chief technical officer of Cambridge Mechatronics in the UK. That company currently focuses on OIS actuators for smartphones, and today's patent application makes clear that Topliss immediately brought that expertise to bear at Apple.

Cambridge Mechatronics began sampling its latest OIS actuators to customers last August, with the modules expected to begin appearing in smartphones early this year. It is unclear whether Apple is working directly with Cambridge Mechatronics on lens module projects, but the two companies are clearly working on very similar technology and have a natural connection through Topliss.

Tag: patent

Top Rated Comments

AngerDanger Avatar
103 months ago
Apple has finally expanded into the hottub business:
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
polterbyte Avatar
103 months ago
I'm glad to see they are focusing on the details. I think that will help the overall success when looking at the big picture. GET IT? GET IT?

There, fixed it for you.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Freida Avatar
103 months ago
I'm glad to see they are focusing on the details. I think that will help the overall success when looking at the big picture.

how old are you that you have to put it in bold just to show how "witty" you are? 12?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dinø Avatar
103 months ago
Representatively, the lens may be shifted or translated along at least three different axes

Smart of the lawyer to word this in such a way that beings living in four-dimensional space will still have to pay royalties.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrmjenkins Avatar
103 months ago
Should make for some great topless photos.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Leonard1818 Avatar
103 months ago
There, fixed it for you.

Thanks ;)

----------

how old are you that you have to put it in bold just to show how "witty" you are? 12?

My age is none of your concern. How does bolding something as a joke warrant a question of my age? Why does it bother you so badly that I pointed out my own joke? It's a joke. Relax. then go get a life. see what I did there?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

General black friday 20 sale feature 2

Best Black Friday Deals on Apple Watch, AirPods Pro, MacBook Pro, More

Wednesday November 24, 2021 8:06 am PST by
Black Friday 2021 has kicked off, and you can now get some of the year's best deals on numerous Apple products. In this article we're providing a quick summary of all the best sales we've seen so far this season. For more on the best sales happening this week, visit our Black Friday Roundup. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
iphone holiday

Best Black Friday iPhone Deals Available Today

Friday November 26, 2021 4:58 am PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models in holidays past, and Black Friday 2021 is no different. Right now we're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like iPhone SE. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you...
airpods pro blue holiday 3

Black Friday: AirPods Pro With MagSafe Drop to $159 on Amazon

Tuesday November 23, 2021 9:12 am PST by
Amazon is now matching Walmart's price on the AirPods Pro with MagSafe, available for $159.00, down from $249.00. These are shipped and sold directly from Amazon, and although stock is low you can still get them in time for the holidays (mid December as of writing). Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a...
apple wallet drivers license feature

Apple Delays iOS 15 Feature for Adding Your Driver's License to Your iPhone Until Early 2022

Tuesday November 23, 2021 9:35 am PST by
Apple recently updated its website to indicate that an upcoming iOS 15 and watchOS 8 feature that will let you add your driver's license or state ID to your iPhone and Apple Watch in participating U.S. states has been delayed until early 2022. Apple previously said the feature would launch in late 2021. In September, Apple said Arizona and Georgia would be among the first states to introduce ...
airpods 3 blue holiday 2

Black Friday: AirPods 3 Hit Record Low Price of $149.99 ($29 Off)

Thursday November 25, 2021 6:10 am PST by
Amazon has introduced a new record low price on the AirPods 3, available for $149.99, down from $179.00. At $29 off, this sale price beats the one that we were tracking earlier this week by about $5 and it's only available on Amazon as of writing. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which ...
airpods pro pink holiday

Black Friday: AirPods Pro With MagSafe Hit Lowest Ever Price

Tuesday November 23, 2021 7:47 am PST by
Apple's AirPods Pro with the new MagSafe Charging Case is now available for its lowest ever price thanks to Black Friday sales. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. The limited-time deal is available at both Amazon and Walmart, which are both...
apple watch cellular holiday

Best Black Friday Apple Watch Deals Available Today

Friday November 26, 2021 4:55 am PST by
The Apple Watch always makes a great gift around the holiday season, and for Black Friday 2021 we're tracking a few solid offers on numerous models of the Apple Watch. In this article, you'll find the best Black Friday sales on the new Apple Watch 7, but the best money-saving discounts will be found on older models like the Apple Watch Series 3 and SE. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner...
iPads black friday 20 sale feature

Best Black Friday iPad Deals Available Today

Friday November 26, 2021 4:48 am PST by
Although Black Friday sales began as early as October in 2021, the shopping holiday is now officially underway and we're highlighting the best sales for each of Apple's product lines. In this article, you'll find the best Black Friday sales on iPad Pro and iPad mini. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a...