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Apple’s patents often afford us glimpses to what the company is up to. They also occasionally tell us what we can expect Apple to include in its upcoming products. Now, Apple has patented a multi-touch camera focusing system which is quite unique. This system is to be used with multi-touch systems, so Apple may be considering it for the next iPhone or iPad.

The patent is titled ‘Multi-point touch focus.’ Basically, this system lets you focus more than one things in an image. This means that you can choose two or even three points of focuses when taking an image. When you finally take the image, these highlighted or selected points will be sharper and more clear.

Currently, cameras often allow for one point of focus. But with multiple points of focus, users will be able to bring more clarity in their images and this will give them more freedom when shooting.

However, since this will require a lot of image processing, the patent also speaks of using a dedicated chip for the purpose. This chip will be used solely for image processing and will be able to quickly and effectively render the images taken by the user.

The patent reads, “A camera includes a lens arranged to focus an image on an image sensor and a touch sensitive visual display for freely selecting two or more regions of interest on a live preview image by touch input. An image processor is coupled to the image sensor and the touch sensitive visual display. The image processor displays the live preview image according to the image focused on the image sensor by the lens. The image processor further receives the selection the regions of interest and controls acquisition of the image from the image sensor based on the characteristics of the image in regions that correspond to at least two of the regions of interest on the live preview image. The image processor may optimize sharpness and/or exposure of the image in at least two of the regions of interest. The image processor may track movement of the selected regions of interest.”

Naturally, this is a very exciting prospect and can entirely change the experience of using cameras in intelligent devices such as smartphones and tablets. We just hope that Apple decides to include this system in one of its upcoming products.

Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Courtesy: Apple Insider

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