Apple has filed for a new patent, covering a device such as an iPhone with interchangeable camera lenses.
The patent, published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, is titled “Back Panel for a Portable Electronic Device with Different Camera Lens Options”.
Patently Apple reports that the filing illustrates an iPhone-like device with a removable back panel, but doesn’t specifically mention that the patent relates to the iPhone. It could be designed for an iPod touch, for example, or even a standalone camera.
Apple’s patent description reads: “As the quality of digital images that can be obtained with highly compact devices increases, there is increasing demand for sophisticated features previously found only in high-end digital cameras, such as digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras.”
“Cameras providing features such as supplementary lenses and filters, optical zoom, optical image stabilisation, and other features useful in capturing high quality images have typically been much larger than multifunction devices that include a camera,” Apple continues. “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.”
In order to give users access to the camera, Apple has come up with a removable back panel, allowing lens adjustments and filters to be implemented. “This makes it possible for a user to reconfigure the optics of the device while retaining the benefits of providing the basic image capturing functionality with a pre-assembled digital imaging subsystem,” explains Apple.
Apple’s invention could allow photographers to remove the IR-cut filter for capturing black and white images at low light levels. There could also be a removable macro-lens, a removable lens baffle, a flash supported by the removable panel.
The removable panel could also have the ability to be extended from the case, in order to provide more room internally for bulky camera components.
ADR Studio came up with this concept of an iCam