Apple patents Lytro-like refocusable light-field camera suitable for iPhone

“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday awarded Apple a patent for a camera system that uses a microlens adaptor to enable refocusing of an image after the initial shot is taken, much like the Lytro light-field camera,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,593,564 for a ‘Digital camera including refocusable imaging mode adaptor,’ describes a method in which a user can take a picture at a certain resolution and refocus the resulting image after the fact. Also noted in the patent is the inclusion of such a system in portable devices, like an iPhone,” Campbell reports. “The patent describes a plenoptic camera, otherwise known as a ‘light-field camera,’ that uses a microlens array in the form of an adaptor rather than a fixed and integrated component as seen on what is arguably the most famous consumer light field camera, the Lytro.”

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

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, Apple’s isn’t too Lytro-like and is, instead, much more than a gimmicky poor-quality camera.


  1. I have several GoPro cameras that i use for Scuba Diving, kayaking and other outdoor activities. They have the widest viewing angle and the best video stabilization software of any camera. I’d love to see Apple incorporate both those features on their mobile devices. They are presently lacking in both features.

    1. While an ultra-wide angle lens is ideal for a specialist action camera such as the GoPro, it would be very disappointing on a camera intended for general use, such as on an iPhone, as many subjects would simply appear to be too small in the picture.

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