Apple Patent Details ‘Super Resolution’ Multi-Sensor Cameras

The rumour mill hasn’t stopped spilling information about the next-generation iPhone (even though the iPhone 7 has only just been launched), and AppleInsider suggests the latest patented camera technology dubbed as “super resolution” multi-sensor cameras could be something that we are going to see in next year’s handset.

Apple was awarded two patents on Tuesday (U.S. Patent Nos. 9,467,666 and 9,466,653) both detailing a multi-sensor camera assembly that fits into a very small space but is nevertheless capable of shooting images in maximum image quality. As detailed by AppleInsider, 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.”

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The catch is the use of the colour splitter, which serves to boost the image resolution compared to single-sensor camera systems. These systems commonly apply a “Bayer” filter to derive colour from CCD or CMOS sensor data, AppleInsider explains. The Apple-patented three-sensor cameras gather and apply nearly all incoming light, tripling the amount of light (in some cases) a single-sensor system is capable of capturing.

Furthermore, the multi-sensor camera system also provides better performance in situations when polarization imaging is needed.

It remains to be seen whether this camera system will be implemented in the iPhone Apple plans to launch next year. Apple credits Richard J. Topliss and Richard H. Tsai as the inventors of the multi-sensor camera system.