Apple patents camera with optical zoom for 6 mm thick phones

On March 15, 2013

Implementing an optical zoom in cameras objectives of mobile terminals is not a new idea, Nokia, Samsung, LG and Sharp have launched several products that offer this feature. But they were not expected to catch on public, could not survive in the era of terminals becoming thinner. According to a patent filed by Apple, the company is working on a camera that will provide both optical zoom lens and a large sensor resolution, but will be implemented in case of a slim modern mobile phone.

Apple design says that the camera size will be able to be incorporated into a terminal with a thickness of 6 to 13mm and a width of 18 to 32mm, which would allow implementation in current iPhone or iPad products. General scheme of the camera reveals key to the entire whole, Apple using a mirror to divert 90 degrees of light. Thus, space constraints are avoided, the width of a terminal housing providing a more generous leeway to implement an optical zoom lens mechanism.

The second technology presented in this patent is the separation of light in standard RGB components for capturing photos using a set of four prisms. This ingenious use of light scattering allows the capture of each RGB component with a dedicated sensor, which will reduce their complexity, and hence production costs, and eliminates some of the shortcomings of ordinary sensors.

The patent application was filed in September 2011, which means that Apple has been working for a long time for this new product. When we find a terminal implemented in iPhone or iPad, it remains to be seen.