Apple’s iPhone Camera Remote Could Have Its Own Built-In Display [Patent]


For many people, their iPhone has long cemented its place as their primary camera.

A newly granted patent, published Tuesday, looks to build on that reputation by adding a remote control capable of operating the iPhone camera.

The “Systems and Methods for Remote Camera Control” patent describes a wireless iOS attachment, featuring a built-in display for both previewing and reviewing photos. The accessory would let users to remotely switch between different typing types of recording (both stills and movies), and also between camera and playback mode.

The patent would even allow the camera app to be launched from the accessory, which isn’t available as a feature on many of the third-party iPhone Bluetooth camera remotes. The accessory would additionally be able to receive information from the iPhone, so it could, for example, let users know whether focus has been achieved correctly.

While not everyone would want to lug around an extra piece of hardware just to snap photos on their iPhone, it is likely that such an accessory (provided it ever makes it beyond hypothetical patent stage) would find favor with filmmakers and professional photographers, who have relied increasingly on the iPhone’s camera functions in the past few years.

The “Systems and Methods for Remote Camera Control” was filed on September 4, 2009. It names Lawrence Bolton, Sylvain Louboutin, Shailesh Rathi, David Rempel, and Peter Langenfeld as its inventors.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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