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New patent awarded to Apple; shows exciting camera tech

By Bryan Chan - on 1 Feb 2016, 10:34am

New patent awarded to Apple; shows exciting camera tech

Image Source: US Patent Trademark Office

Just a couple of days ago, Apple was awarded a new patent for camera technology that could be used in future iOS devices. The patent is titled 'Small Form Factor High Resolution Camera', and it consists of squeezing a larger sensor surface area into a smaller form factor, while simplifying the lens elements.

According to the patent, the sensor surface area is enlarged by being curved. A curved sensor will definitely reduce the amount of space needed for the camera module, though it will add to the depth a little.

Another advantage of using a curved sensor, is that the need for multiple lens elements to focus an image is reduced. Currently, all digital cameras use multiple lens elements to ensure that incoming light accurately reaches a flat surface. With a curved sensor, a single spherical lens would be able to do the job.

Based on the patent, a camera module using this camera design could measure 1.8 mm across, and 1.95 mm deep from the camera's front plate to the rear of the sensor. Currently, the camera module in the iPhone 6 Plus measures 10.6 x 9.3 x 5.6 mm.

Apple isn't the first to have thought of a curved camera sensor. Sony was awarded a patent for a curved sensor for a full frame camera last year in March.

Source: Forbes