updated 12:00 pm EDT, Tue July 23, 2013
Imaging tech could improve future iPhone, iPod, iPad cameras
Apple has won rights to a pair of patents via the US Patent and Trademark Office, says AppleInsider. One is Dual image sensor image processing system and method, which documents a camera concept that would use multiple sensors to help identify and correct various visual problems, such as dead pixels and chromatic aberrations. Supporting the camera would be complex image processing architecture, used to compare images and fix the final output if one of the two sensors received better input.
The technology could be applied to both still image and video recording. Apple hasn't applied it to any of its shipping products, but could in theory use it to upgrade the cameras on iPhones, iPods, and iPads, and even Mac webcams. It would follow a recent trend with some smartphones, like the HTC One and Nokia Lumia 1020, which is to emphasize picture quality over sheer megapixel ratings.
The second patent, On-hold visual menu from a user's communications device, describes an interface which would let a person on hold during an iPhone call receive content shared from the person they're calling. This could include photos, music, videos, or hold time, or even more personal data, such as status updates and location information. A menu would let sharers determine levels of access, for instance restricting location data to family members.
Like the imaging patent, the hold concept has never made it into a commercial product. It may be even less likely to appear, owing to the bandwidth it would consume on fixed-cap data plans.