Apple dual-sensor patent could yield better iPhone photos

The newly awarded patent highlights a method to avoid many of the flaws that sabotage photos taken through today's mobile devices.


The camera on your future iPhone or iPad could house two sensors, helping you snap higher-quality photos and videos.

Awarded Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the patent appropriately titled "Dual image sensor image processing system and method" describes how a dual-sensor camera would outshine a single-sensor system.

Your photos or videos would be captured and processed through at least two different sensors. That data would then go through a process called interleaving to produce the final image. The benefit from this approach is that any bad frames from one sensor could be replaced by good ones from the other sensor. For example, a frame that's missing a few pixels through one sensor can be swapped out for a better version of the same frame from the second sensor.

In processing the raw image, the system would detect other flaws beyond missing pixels and attempt to correct those by comparing them with "imaging statistics" stored in memory. As such, the system could automatically apply the right color balance, exposure, and other values.

Dual-sensor cameras are nothing new. But Apple's patent envisions them for mobile phones, tablets, and even desktop and laptop computers.

(Via AppleInsider)

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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