Apple iPhone 6 Feature Could Feature “Super-resolution” Images and Swappable Lens

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By Precious Silva | May 20, 2014 6:44 AM EST

Apple has been reportedly working on improving the iPhone picture quality. According to a recent patent sighting, the tech giant has been focusing on the development and use of a "super-resolution" imaging engine. The technology employs optical image stabilization to capture multiple samples and combine them together for a top-notch photo. Can Apple be including this in the next iPhone 6? 

Reuters
A woman tries the silver colored version of the new iPhone 5S after Apple Inc's media event in Cupertino, California September 10, 2013.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application under Apple discussing the use of "Super-resolution based on optical image stabilization." The main goal of the technology is to provide an alternative way to use the present OIS technology and differentiate from existing competition. 

Throughout the years, Apple has gained a good market position especially through its iPhone offering. The new patent shows Apple's goal of becoming a leading smartphone manufacturer including in the camera and picture quality sector. The patent describes using a new technology that can improve picture resolution without adding megapixels. 

To put it simply, the technology works with optical image stabilization (OIS) system to capture a series of images in rapid succession. Each image is captured at a slightly different angle. The samples are then transferred to an image processing engine that conducts the patchwork. This results to a high quality photo. 

Conventional OIS systems work with positioning or inertial sensors to recognize camera movement such as vibrating motion from a shaking hand. Actuators found on the imaging module or lens elements of camera, move in a similar and opposite vector to address the unnecessary movement. Stabilization physical modes often create high quality images as opposed to software-based processes. OIS moves the components of the camera physically as compared to digital stabilization techniques that address unnecessary motions by extracting pixels from the border of the image. 

In one of the embodiments, the system features a camera, an actuator for positioning of the OIS, an inertial sensor, a positioning sensor, a super-resolution engine and an OIS processor. The processor used in the system follows a similar structure with the A7 chip used in the iPhone 5s. Apple Insider has also reported about Apple's patent filing for interchangeable camera lenses. 

Patent filings do not promise automatic inclusion in the company's upcoming devices. Nonetheless, Apple has used many of its applications previously this new system should find its way to devices like the iPhone soon including the iPhone 6. In a market marked by stiff competition, image quality and camera have been deciding factors for consumers as well. 

Apple will reportedly release the iPhone 6 around August or September according to a report by Reuters. 

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(Photo: Reuters / )
A woman tries the silver colored version of the new iPhone 5S after Apple Inc's media event in Cupertino, California September 10, 2013.
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