Apple patent application reveals revolutionary new iPhone camera

“In its quest to build smaller phones that still somehow offer better photo taking capabilities, Apple has revealed a new concept that would offer improved optical image stabilization using mirrors,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“The idea is detailed in a new Apple patent application published this week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,” Hughes reports. “Entitled ‘Mirror Tilt Actuation,’ the newly revealed filing describes an image sensor for small, multifunction devices like an iPhone that would compensate for the user’s hand movement to improve picture quality.”

“Apple introduced optical image stabilization in its products last year with the debut of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus,” Hughes reports. “The smaller iPhone 6 accomplishes this through software, while the larger iPhone 6 Plus also uses hardware OIS for superior image taking capabilities.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. It is not revolutionary, really, it is old idea. And Apple is not going to make this since it worsens quality of picture as sensor size will be either limited by width of iPhone or would need another mirror that would cut the light even more than the first one does.

    When look at Apple’s patents the general rule is that if you know about them before seeing it in a product, it might be never implemented at all. The most of Apple’s key patents became known after the technology was already in the market.

    1. How so? A magnesium oxide surface coated mirror reflects ~98% of incident light, which is far less than light loss due to the optical train. Unless you are confusing this with DSLR type translucent mirrors which do indeed reduce light to the sensor…but that is not the type of mirror in this patent. Also, the sensor can still be mounted flat within the phone with a periscope arrangement which would not impact phone thickness.

      1. I did not express myself clear enough. I meant the fact that if Apple would want to use normal/big sensor that would not be perpendicular to phone’s body, they would have to use another mirror at weird angle (not ideal 45%), and this alone would compress the light with loss of detail (let alone the additional optics that would also make things worse in terms of actual optical resolution of shots). To, it would be more proper to say that details would be cut, not light itself.

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