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Apple wins patent for interchangeable iPhone camera lenses

The newly granted patent describes a way to attach lenses to the iPhone via a bayonet mount.


Apple has moved a step further in a proposed invention that could more securely fasten different camera lenses to your iPhone.

Granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, a patent dubbed simply "Bayonet attachment mechanisms" describes a method of using a bayonet mount on your mobile device through which interchangeable camera lenses could be attached.

Bayonet mounts are often used in cameras and other consumer products to easily yet firmly attach two different parts. You push and then twist one part into the other so they lock together. You then simply twist one part in the opposite direction to unlock it.

As expressed in the patent filing, Apple sees bayonet mounts as superior to other types of connections, such as magnetic coupling, which are not as secure.

The one possible drawback to a bayonet mount is that such a mount would protrude slightly from the rear body of the phone. The fixed camera lenses on most mobile devices typically are flush with the device. But that may be a small price to pay for the ability to securely attach a variety of lenses to the phone.

What happens if you drop your phone with a lens attached? Could the drop damage both your phone and the lens since they're joined at the hip? In the case of just such a "drop event," Apple has proposed a way to automatically decouple the phone and the lens to reduce the possibilty of damage to the phone itself.

Of course, other manufacturers already offer products to stick a camera lens on your phone. But assuming Apple's idea ever hits the real world, a bayonet-mounted invention could provide an easier and more secure way of attaching a lens.

(Via AppleInsider)