New iPhone 6 Features Include A Refocusable Camera, Suggests New Apple Patent

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By Kristin Dian Mariano | November 29, 2013 6:11 PM EST

iPhone 6 features may include a refocusable camera, according to the latest patent awarded to Apple.

The next iPhone may pack a Lytro-like camera. It is an innovative device and technology that enables users to refocus their pictures giving the photo more life compared to the traditional 2D shot.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Tuesday awarded Apple a patent for a camera system that uses a microlens adaptor that will allow users to refocus the image after the initial shot is taken. This technology is very similar to what is used in Lytro light-field camera.

Apple's U.S. Patent No. 8,593,564 is named "Digital camera, including refocusable imaging mode adaptor" and described a method in which a user can take a picture at a certain resolution and refocus the resulting image. It is also noted in the patent which is the inclusion of such a system in portable devices, like an iPhone.

The patent describes a technology using a light-field camera that uses microlens array in the form of an adaptor, which is its main difference compared to Lytro camera.  The adaptor is a switchable optical module mounted to a bracket, on which a glass plate is also positioned for normal high-resolution photos.

According to Apple Insider, Steve Jobs showed interest in light-field camera during its development by Ren Ng who founded Lytro Inc. The report noted the late Apple founder invited Ng in Apple's base in California for a live demonstration of the product before it went public.

The inclusion of Lytro-like technology will be an advantage for Apple's iPhone 6 against its rivals as it will give the smartphone a unique feature that cannot be easily copied.

Other rumored features of the upcoming iPhone 6 are large screen display within the range of 4.8 to 6 inches. Various analysts agreed that Apple will finally increase the screen size of its iPhone. Moreover, it may retain some of iPhone 5S' new features such the 64-bit A7 processor, M7 graphics chip and the fingerprint sensor.

iPhone 6 release date is speculated to take place early next year, most probably in March. However, new rumors point on a possible release date in June 2014, which is the original launch date of Apple's iPhone.

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