Apple patents ‘super resolution’ multi-sensor cameras with cube prisms

“Apple continues to win patents detailing advanced technology rumored to show up in next year’s iPhone model, the most recent being a pair of inventions dealing with ‘super resolution’ multi-sensor cameras,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“As awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, Apple’s U.S. Patent Nos. 9,467,666 and 9,466,653 detail a multi-sensor camera assembly capable of achieving maximum image quality in a minimal amount of space,” Campbell reports. “The system splits incoming light into at least three (red, blue and green) wavelengths using a series of prisms, directs and captures the rays with independent light sensors and combines the resulting data into a “super resolution” image via specialized software.”

Campbell reports, “Apple’s IP refers to the beam splitter as either a Philips prism or smaller stacked cube variation, the latter described in detail in the ‘653 patent for a “Digital camera with light splitter,” itself an extension of a patent granted in 2015.”

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

MacDailyNews Take: If it’s Apple’s “666” patent, you know it’s got to be good!


  1. Expect the anti Apple crowd to loudly scream that this configuration has been used for many, many years in many different cameras. They will then claim that it cannot be patentable. They will also claim that it is no different than Apple trying to patent rectangles and rounded corners.

    The important point is that you cannot patent an idea (using beam splitters to separate colors). What you CAN patent is a specific implementation of that idea. This is what Apple has done.

    1. THIS CONFIGURATION HAS BEEN USED FOR MANY, MANY YEARS IN MANY DIFFERENT CAMERAS! It cannot be patentable! It is NO DIFFERENT than Apple trying to patent rectangles and rounded corners!!

      1. Yes, the use of trichroic prism assemblies has been used previously in some video recording products. For example: I had a Canon professional camcorder in 1993 which contained what Canon referred to as an RGB primary color filter. This was their marketing term for a trichroic prism assembly.

        As for your claim of non-patentability: as we’re discussing a hardware/software system (two dichroic prisms in combination with code), I am very sure that this type of system can absolutely be patented.

        You probably should be posting instead to the Samsung sites, where you can make everyone there feel much better by assuring them that there Galaxy Note 7 phones are “perfectly safe”. Your username is clear proof that you are incapable of rational thought.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.