Changeable iPhone lenses
Just imagine being able to change your iPhone lens? Well that may be possible in the next few iterations of the iPhone. Apple has just published a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Apple may be conceptualizing a device that has a removable back panel for easily replaceable components such as a lenses or other optical solutions. It is unclear whether this is a camera, future iPhone, or a completely different device but the patent talked about several different ways of upgrading the device with different optics:
“The digital imaging subsystem is typically enclosed within the case of the device to protect the digital imaging subsystem. The enclosure generally prevents direct access to the lens of the digital imaging subsystem for the purpose of providing any sort of supplementary optics, especially if the supplementary optics must be precisely aligned with the image sensor… It would be desirable to provide a structure for a compact device that allows the end user to reconfigure the optical arrangement of the device while retaining the benefits of assembling the device using a pre-assembled digital imaging subsystem.”
Many features were detailed that could be added through the easily swappable optics which would include: improved zoom capabilities, greater shutter control, and removable close-up lenses. The patient also broke down how the removable panels on the back would be implemented:
“A removable panel is coupled to the case and held in a second defined positional relationship to the case that covers the digital imaging subsystem without the removable panel being directly connected to the digital imaging subsystem. An optical component is supported by the removable panel such that the optical component is aligned with the optical axis and alters optical characteristics of the digital imaging subsystem. The device may include a power supply and an electronic control system coupled to the digital imaging subsystem and the power supply enclosed in and supported by the case. Electrical connectors may couple the power supply and the electronic control system to an electrical component on the removable panel.”
This feature could be used by photographers in many different ways and it would be nice to see it implemented into a future generation iPhone.