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Apple Patent for ‘Super Resolution’ Smartphone Camera Found

Super resolution cameras are, technically, cameras which are augmented with new technologies which allow for better resolution pictures without adding extra megapixels. An amalgam of software and hardware components make this possible, by eliminating all sources of low resolution in pictures, plus allowing photos to look better by effectively using information in the raw photo file.

Apple, as of 2012, filed a patent for a highly complicated smartphone camera, which fits into this bracket. The device is designed with as many smart components as they could find, such as OIS (optical image stabilisation) and a ‘super resolution engine’. This functions by capturing multiple images, stabilised by OIS to reduce blur, and sticking together into a composite ultra-resolution image.

This is possible due to the multiple uses of the image sensor. If the sensor is used multiple times to take the same image, it can distribute the task across each separate capture, effectively allowing it to shoot at higher resolutions than the sensor is manufactured to work at. Coupled with the anti-blurring OIS system, this means cameras can be used to go far beyond their technical specifications, with just a few modifications.

Patent details were unearthed online from back in 2012, and seeing as Apple hasn’t taken any action so far this could be an indicator that maybe 2, or 3, iPhones down the line we could see this technology emerge, and of course the accompanying legal processes (AKA Everybody Sues) that come with the releases of patented new systems. Hopefully this patent is an actual new insight into future picture technologies, as opposed to an extinct project that will never see the light of day. Fingers crossed for the former.

Source: AppleInsider