iPhone Camera units have come a long way since inception. The iPhone 7 cameras are some of the most advanced camera systems to be found in smart phones. With features like low light photography and enhanced portrait mode, these devices have features that can easily challenge some DSLRs out there.
To address some of the size and aesthetic issues associated with conventional xenon flashbulbs, camera flash units have been developed that use light emitting diodes (LEDs). Flash devices that are based on LED technology tend to be small in size and exhibit reduced power consumption, but can be unsightly.
As All Apple fans know, “unsightly” is not a word that Apple takes liking to in this day and age.
If Apple has its way, the next generation of iPhones will feature a shutter cover over the flash units. According to the latest patent, 9,521,307 approved today, this aesthetic issue can be overcome by providing improved illumination equipment.
The inventors suggest that a shutter may be used to conceal the light source when not in use. The shutter may have a movable shutter blade. An actuator may be used to position the movable shutter blade in an open position or a closed position as appropriate.
Control circuitry may be coupled to the camera module to receive digital images. The control circuitry may also be coupled to the shutter and the light source.
When it is desired to use the light source as a camera flash, the control circuitry may place the shutter in the open position. This exposes the light source and allows light from the light source to pass through the shutter to exit the electronic device.
When flash operations are complete, the control circuitry may place the shutter in a closed position to block the light source from view.
The camera shutter patent was filed on Sept 4, 2015 and was approved today.
Just when you thought that Apple has slowed down innovating or what could it possibly add to the next gen iPhone other than an OLED display without the home button, Apple’s patents show that the tinkering still continues at one Cupertino drive.