Apple’s future iPhone could solve one of the biggest problems with smartphone photography


A stunning moment is unfolding in front of you.

But by the time you’ve got your phone out, unlocked it and opened up the camera app the action is over.

It’s a familiar problem to anyone who’s tried to take a decent photo using a smartphone.

Now Apple has applied to patent technology which could allow snappers to instantly capture whatever’s happening in front of them without having to go through the usual time-consuming rigamarole.

The patent describes a system for ‘automatically activating a camera application on detecting an intent to capture a photograph or a video’.

This flowchart explains how Apple’s system will work (Image: Apple)

Apple wrote: ‘Mobile devices often include a user’s sensitive personal information… or installed applications that provide quick access to the user’s private data [so] a user often locks these devices using a password or his biometrics.

‘While this locking capability protects the user from identity theft, having to take the time to enter a password or biometrics to unlock the device may not be desirable when the user requires quick access to an application.

‘For instance, if the mobile device is locked when the user wishes to capture a fleeting moment on camera, the user may miss the opportunity to do so since he has to take the time to enter his password or biometrics to unlock the device as well as locate and activate the camera application.’

This works by detecting the movements of a device using sensors such as the iPhone’s accelerometer, which can pick up movement, speed and direction.

An iunofficlal image produced to show what the next iPhone might look like (Provider: Onleaks/ Digital India)

When the sensors detect that a phone has been held in a portrait or landscape position, it’s a fair bet its owner wants to take a photo.

Once a phone is held in the right position for a short space of time, the device will automatically unlock and open the camera app.

It’s a clever system, for sure, and one that would be extremely popular as long as it doesn’t keep opening the camera app if you’ve taken your phone out to read a website or look at a film.

However, Apple has already thought of this. Its invention also uses proximity detectors, so that if an object is nearby it will not unlock the phone.

Clever stuff.





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