The iPhone 7 Might Finally Get A Dual Sensor Camera As Apple Granted Compact Lens Patent

Ramish Zafar
Posted Apr 21, 2016
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As we head towards summer, things have managed to quiet down across all quarters in the mobile world. The only two major launches expected this year now are Samsung’s Galaxy Note 6 and Apple’s iPhone 7 and both the devices have consistently seen some impressive specifications and features surface over the rumor mill. While the Galaxy Note 6 is expected to deliver more towards high performance specifications, the iPhone 7 on the other hands is expected to be much more of a balanced device.

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Apple Granted Dual Lens Telephoto Camera Patent; Feature Rumored For The iPhone 7 Pro

When it comes to the iPhone 7, we’ve seen some interesting news fly around for Cupertino’s 2016 flagship upgrades. Looks like Apple’s getting used to inculcating features already present in the market on the iPhone lineup, as more and more quarters have been talking about a dual camera device hitting the shelves this year. To be allegedly dubbed as the iPhone 7 Pro/Plus, it’ll mark the company’s first serious hardware overhaul to the lineup’s rear camera; with previous features mostly concerning aperture sizes, resolutions and pixel quality.

Now, with less than six months left until we get to see the iPhone lineup get refreshed, Apple’s been granted a patent for a compact telephoto lens, which could pave the way for a dual camera solution this year. The company filed its application to the USPTO back in September, just around the launch of the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus; so if we do see a dual camera system get implemented on the iPhone 7 Pro, it will most likely involve a variation of this technology in one form or the other.

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With today’s patent, Apple should be able to tinker around quite a bit with the camera lens on both the iPhones. The company’s compact telephoto lens solution uses four elements to capture, adjust and transfer light towards the photosensor. This reduction in overall size, should help in significant space savings for the overall sensor, while maintaining or even improving overall sensor resolution; depending on application. The essential bit here that allows for this reduction is the change in the light path, along Optical Axes AX1 and AX2, as shown in the image above.

After being redirected, this light is further converged and diverged by the two remaining elements and then finally transferred onto the photosensor. The main point still remains that this significant reduction in the space required for a photo sensor should allow Apple greater room to manipulate the sensor’s surrounding external area. Not only can this result in a second camera sensor being introduced into the mix, but we might also get to see other features as well.

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Safe to say, camera does seem to be the one major aspect that should once again get a major overhaul in this year’s refresh of the iPhone by Apple. But given that there’s still plenty of time until the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Pro see the light of day, there’s nothing that’s set in stone. We’re still waiting on more leaks of the device’s overall shell, design and schematics, so things can still change by a lot. Till then, stay tuned and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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