“Apple has been working on a new zoom lens system for iDevices for some time now. In February we posted a report titled ‘Apple Reveals a Zoom Lens Breakthrough for Future iDevices,’ and in March we posted a granted patent report titled ‘Apple Granted a Major Camera Patent that could lead to a True Zoom Lens for future iDevices, Macs and TVs,'” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple. “Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their work on a new dual camera zoom lens system for future iDevices and beyond.”

“Apple’s latest zoom camera invention covers methods and/or systems for using multiple cameras to provide optical zoom to a user. Some embodiments include a first camera unit of a multifunctional device capturing a first image of a first visual field,” Purcher reports. “A second camera unit of the multifunctional device simultaneously captures a second image of a second visual field. In some embodiments, the first camera unit includes a first optical package with a first focal length. In some embodiments, the second camera unit includes a second optical package with a second focal length.”

“Under ‘multifunctional devices’ segment of the patent filing Apple notes that “In some embodiments, the device is a portable communications device, such as a mobile telephone, that also contains other functions, such as PDA and/or music player functions. Other portable electronic devices, such as laptops, cameras, cell phones, or tablet computers, may also be used,” Purcher reports. “It should also be understood that, in some embodiments, the device is not a portable communications device, but is a desktop computer with a camera. In some embodiments, the device is a gaming computer with orientation sensors (e.g., orientation sensors in a gaming controller). In other embodiments, the device is not a portable communications device, but is a camera.”

Read more, and see Apple patent application illustrations, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Shoot video and photos simultaneously – both at high resolution. Automatic “two-camera” shoots. And many other possibilities. Looks like the fruits of Apple’s LinX acquisition are ripening nicely!

Apple’s LinX acquisition: The Israeli startup that will give iPhones SLR-quality photos – April 15, 2015
Apple buys Israeli 3D/multi-image camera company LinX Computational Imaging – April 14, 2015