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11-27-2013, 12:26 AM #1
Apple Awarded Patent for Refocusable Lytro-like Camera Suitable for the iPhone
Apple has recently been awarded a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for a digital camera including a refocusable imaging mode adapter. The document also discusses the potential use of a similar camera system in a device like the iPhone. The patent details a camera that is able to be configured to operate in a lower-resolution mode that includes refocusing capability in addition to a high-resolution non-refocusable mode, with the camera’s body containing an image mode adapter to switch between the two.
The patent also cited a plenoptic imaging system used in the Lytro light-field camera, which Apple draws inspiration from but points out that its own microlens array can produce higher quality images because of a higher spatial resolution. The Cupertino California company also cites the Lytro’s camera system as prior art in the patent. The following was mentioned regarding the matter:
A digital camera system configurable to operate in a low-resolution refocusable mode and a high-resolution non-refocusable mode comprising: a camera body; an image sensor mounted in the camera body having a plurality of sensor pixels for capturing a digital image;
An imaging lens for forming an image of a scene onto an image plane, the imaging lens having an aperture; and an adaptor that can be inserted between the imaging lens and the image sensor to provide the low-resolution refocusable mode and can be removed to provide the high-resolution non-refocusable mode,
The adaptor including a microlens array with a plurality of microlenses; wherein when the adaptor is inserted to provide the low-resolution refocusable mode, the microlens array is positioned between the imaging lens and the image sensor.
Source: USPTO via AppleInsider
11-27-2013, 07:10 PM #2
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