“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published an Apple patent application for a method of constructing a camera lens actuator that uses a single artificial muscle structure rather than traditional motors to control focus and aperture size,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“According to Apple’s aptly named ‘Artificial muscle camera lens actuator’ filing, suggestions to apply artificial muscle technology to camera autofocus actuators have been floating around for some time, but the electro-active polymer (EAP) materials on which the tech is based were not suitable for mass manufacture until recently,” Campbell reports. “With the proliferation of haptic feedback features in devices like remotes for video game consoles, the appropriate engineering cogs are in place to mass produce the materials, though an exact production design tailored for camera autofocus actuators has yet to be vetted.”

Campbell reports, “Apple notes an artificial muscle structure is advantageous because it can carry relatively large optics and consumes extremely low levels of power. Whether Apple will apply the technology to a future iOS device remains unclear. As portables like the iPhone become increasingly thin with each successive generation, however, the company may soon find a need to look in the direction of alternative solutions to the rather bulky voice coil motor used in current models.”

Much more, including Apple’s patent filing illustrations, in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mikey Campbell” for the heads up.]