Future iPhones could have smaller, spherically curved image sensors

Jan 29, 2016

Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett is a communications professional with over a decade of experience in content strategy, editing, marketing, multimedia content creation. He’s photographed and written content seen across hundreds of millions of pageviews. In addition to his communications work for various entities and publications, Gannon also runs his multimedia marketing agency, Ekleptik Media, where he brings his expertise as a full-stack creator to help develop and execute data-driven content strategies. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in USA Today, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek, Popular Mechanics, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Digital Trends, DPReview, PetaPixel, Imaging Resource, Lifewire, Yahoo News, Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, and more.

Future iPhones could have smaller, spherically curved image sensors

Jan 29, 2016

Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett is a communications professional with over a decade of experience in content strategy, editing, marketing, multimedia content creation. He’s photographed and written content seen across hundreds of millions of pageviews. In addition to his communications work for various entities and publications, Gannon also runs his multimedia marketing agency, Ekleptik Media, where he brings his expertise as a full-stack creator to help develop and execute data-driven content strategies. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in USA Today, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek, Popular Mechanics, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Digital Trends, DPReview, PetaPixel, Imaging Resource, Lifewire, Yahoo News, Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, and more.

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iPhone_Lens

We’ve already talked about what Apple might be getting up to for the camera in their upcoming tenth generation iPhone. But, as is usually the case with any research and development, Apple is already at work patenting unique tech to put in even later generation iPhones.

One of the most recent patents to come to light is the schematics for a spherically curved sensor. While curved sensors aren’t exactly new, it’s the spherical design that sets it apart from other curved sensors we’ve seen in the past.

Apple Curved Sensor Patent3

U.S. Patent No. 9,244,253 describes a smartphone camera module that uses a spherically concave sensor in conjunction with specially-designed optical elements to reduce the size of the overall camera module without compromising on image quality—something Jonathan Ive and the rest of the Apple design team would love to work with considering the camera bulge current iPhones are sporting.

Apple Curved Sensor Patent2

By sandwiching alternating concave and convex optical elements for the lenses, Apple would be able to project the image plane on the spherically curved imaging sensor. There would inevitably be a fair amount of barrel distortion in the resulting images. But Apple has also taken that into consideration, explaining how those corrections could be automatically made via software.

Apple Curved Sensor Patent1

Apple has long relied on Sony for its camera components, but they’ve never been one to shy away from taking things into their own hands; especially when it means taking profits out of competitor’s hands. Interestingly enough, Apple’s patent references a patent from both Sony and Samsung.

[via Apple Insider]

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Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett is a communications professional with over a decade of experience in content strategy, editing, marketing, multimedia content creation. He’s photographed and written content seen across hundreds of millions of pageviews. In addition to his communications work for various entities and publications, Gannon also runs his multimedia marketing agency, Ekleptik Media, where he brings his expertise as a full-stack creator to help develop and execute data-driven content strategies. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in USA Today, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek, Popular Mechanics, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Digital Trends, DPReview, PetaPixel, Imaging Resource, Lifewire, Yahoo News, Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, and more.

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