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.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney

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)