Uncovered patents suggest that Apple is working on a 3D camera for its iOS devices. Big things are expected of the iPhone 5 - could this be top of the list?
Patently Apple has published details of a patent registered by Apple outlining a 3D imaging camera. This works by using multiple sensors, spaced apart, to work out the differences in perspective that can't be discovered with just the one camera sensor. According to diagrams outlining the tech, one of Apple's solutions uses three sensors.
Two capture polarised images, and a third a non-polarised image. The three are then melded together to create the final 3D image. Also explained within the patent is a similar blueprint using two sensors, one polarised and the other not.
This 3D tech would work for both stills and video, further increasing its possible applications. For example, Patently Apple outlines that it could be used to scan and produce 3D models of objects, simply by rotating the object in front of the camera. Fancy inserting your pet gerbil into an FPS game as a boss character? It could be on the cards, once the devs get their hands on this tech.
However, just because a patent has been applied for, it doesn't mean the technology will actually turn up in the next iPhone or iPad. It’s the registration of an idea, not the certification of an actual product. That said, it sounds neat.
The patent was registered in Q3 2011 and has just been published by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
via Patently Apple