Apple VCSEL research could get rid of unsightly iPhone camera bump

“Future iPhones and iPads could have a smaller camera bump on the rear of the device, among other changes, with Apple exploring the possibility of changing how the camera sensor communicates with other components within a mobile device from using electrical signals to using light,” Malcolm Owen reports for AppleInsider.

“The camera bump has received criticism in the past for being one of the disappointing elements of the iPhone design, sticking out of the back of the device and making it impossible for the iPhone to lie flat on a surface,” Owen reports. “Depending on the model, this can increase the overall thickness of the iPhone by a few millimeters, spoiling the sleek physical appearance for some owners. ”

“In a patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, the filing for an ‘Image sensor with optical communication capabilities’ suggests the use of multiple light modules to allow an imaging sensor to transmit data to an electrical backplane that connects to the rest of the device’s hardware,” Owen reports. “This data could be used to drive actuators connected to the image sensor, putting it back into its original position relative to the backplane. In effect, this can replace some of the functionality produced by the Hall Effect sensors, and in turn could allow the camera assembly to be closer to the rest of a smartphone’s circuitry, potentially reducing the bump.”

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

MacDailyNews Take: Nice, but we’d gladly take a few more millimeters of thickness and weight if it were devoted to the battery. That would remove the bump and increase battery life, otherwise known as a win-win.


  1. “Nice, but we’d gladly take…”

    No no no… Apple is always right! Remember: People don’t know what they want until you show it to them (no matter how illogical, annoying and crazy it sometimes is).

  2. The bump disappears when you get a case for your iPhone. To me it isn’t a big deal one way or the other.

    The real irritant for me is the switch on the left side that I accidentally turned off. The case eliminates that issue.

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