Apple Patents iPhone Camera with Light Splitter

Apple is continually improving the iPhone camera, and it comes as no surprise the company has been awarded another patent in this area. The latest, simply titled Digital Camera with Light Splitter illustrates a possible camera upgrade for future iPhones.

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According to AppleInsider, the design would further improve low-light performance and color accuracy. The camera works by splitting incoming light into red, green and blue wavelengths. This would allow three independent imaging sensors to capture the scene.

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The advantages of splitting incoming light are many, as it can capture more light and improve image resolution. Depending on the configuration, the technology can also require less filtering and reduced processing. The challenge Apple has faced when implementing high-quality optics on the iPhone is always the same, miniaturization and space constraints within the device chassis.

Apple engineers may seek to reduce the camera protrusion found on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus in next generation hardware. It's possible this patent will be incorporated into the iPhone 7, further improving Apple's flagship mobile optics.