A newly uncovered patent could give us a glimpse of how Apple will improve the camera on future iPhone and iPad models, and it comes down to multiple sensors. Apple’s proposed design would deploy multiple sensors to capture a greater depth of color and higher resolution images.
As described, the camera would feature two sensors for capturing color data and a third sensor for capturing light data. The three separate images could then be stitched together to create a result that is greater than the sum of its parts. If that sounds a slight bit familiar perhaps you have heard of HTC’s UltraPixel camera.
While not entirely the same as the component Apple is seeking to patent, the camera found in the HTC One takes a similar approach. The UltraPixel camera stacks multiple 4MP camera sensors that when combined can produce images boasting wider color range and clarity.
It’s not exactly what Apple is seeking to do, but it highlights what could be an emerging trend in mobile. While Nokia is happy trotting out 40+MP cameras on their smartphones, others are seeking to reinvent the foundation of the camera to create high-quality images without increasing component size.
Apple’s take won’t debut in the next generation of the iPhone, but it could be coming down the road. Either way, don’t be surprised if more and more manufacturers move toward inventive approaches to smartphone optics in the future.