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Apple Patents Smaller Camera Modules For iPhones And iPads

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(Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images ) The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seal is displayed inside the headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., on Friday, April 4, 2014. The Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow plans to mark up a measure that would curb the activities of so-called patent trolls after pulling back the bill last week in the face of opposition from such companies as 3M Co., AstraZeneca Plc, Monsanto Co. and Procter & Gamble Co. Leahy Delays Markup of Patent Bill Companies Oppose
February 1
2:12 AM 2016

Apple has been awarded patent for an imaging technology from the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) on Tuesday against application filed in 2013. The technology involved thereto, is believed to reduce the size of digital camera modules without compromising quality. The snapping gear will include a spherical photo-sensor and lens array that provides high-resolution capture in an incredibly compact package.

Smaller camera absorbs lesser light compared to larger ones. In similar concept, less light falls on a small smart-phone image sensor than that of bigger camera sensor, simply due to the surface area measurement. The physics relating surface area appears to be a big problem for smart-phone cameras need to remain as small as possible to fit within a phone case.

Apple has been granted the US Patent No. 9,244,253 for its Small Form Factor High Resolution Camera. The concept involved in the patented camera model overrides the surface area factor. This new imaging device offers a larger sensor surface into a smaller space simplifying the built in lenses, presumes Forbes.

The photo sensor is spherically curved that allows incoming refracted light to pass through specially crafted lenses, onto a concave surface. An apt analogy would be a bowl filled with water where the bowl represents a spherically curved image sensor and the water a fitted lens system. The high-performance digital shooter is suitable for deployment in iPhone and iPad, according to a report published in AppleInsider.

Apple's intentions on applying the curved photo censor camera technology either to iPhone 7, iPhone 5se or to iPad Air 3, remains unclear. The advent of small, mobile multi purpose devices are in need for high resolution, small form factor cameras for integration in the devices, reports iDigitalTimes quoting the patent description.

Virtually, Apple has freed the smart-phone camera from a design legacy rooted in film photography with this patent. The camera itself will measure around 1.8 mm across, 1.95 mm deep from the camera's glass front plate to the rear of the censor. However, by contrast, the iPhone 6 Plus camera measures 9.33 mm X 5.6 mm.

Every smart-phone manufacturer is in the trend of getting slimmer. Following the industry trend, Apple releases smart phones every year which are sleeker than that releases a year before.

A smaller and more efficient camera system may offer free space to fulfill consumer demands for larger storage capacity and longer battery life. It has been widely assumed that Apple will roll out significant changes to the iPhone7 instead of the iPhone 5se.

Apple has recently got patent for small digital camera modules capable of rendering improved image quality. The snapping gear will include a spherical photo-sensor and lens array that provides high-resolution capture in an incredibly compact package. Apple hasn't made it clear, in which device the patented camera is going to be introduced first.

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