Apple has a wild idea for enhancing video capture

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Apple video patent
A patent application from Apple suggests it has developed a way to record video using both lenses at the same time.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Imagine shooting video with a dual-camera iPhone with simultaneous capture through both lenses.

Apple has and it applied for a patent indicating software to record with both the wide and zoom lenses on a device is somewhere in the pipeline.

Inventors and tech companies file patent applications that often never see the light of day. Even if the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office grants Apple such a patent, there is no assurance an Apple device will have this capability anytime soon.

But a user interface that shows two or more digital viewfinders is in line with the evolution of the iPhone as a camera, having disrupted conventional schools for cameras, photography, and filmmaking.

The 71-page patent application, filed on Jan. 5 and published Thursday on the USPTO website, shows a series of simple drawings with an unspecified device that looks, in shape, like an iPad. In one of the included drawings, a screen shows two windows, each with a view of a volleyball player about to serve.

Apple video patent
Digital viewfinders showing capture from two lenses.
Photo: Apple/U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The top window shows a wide view of the player on the court while the bottom window shows the tighter view of the server through the telephoto lens.

The patent application describes a variety of ways this user interface would look.

The abstract on the front page reads:

An electronic device has multiple cameras and displays a digital viewfinder user interface for previewing visual information provided by the cameras. The multiple cameras may have different properties such as focal lengths. When a single digital viewfinder is provided, the user interfaces allows zooming over a zoom range that includes respective zoom ranges of both cameras the zoom setting to determine which camera provides visual information to the viewfinder and which camera is used to capture visual information.

The user interface also allows the simultaneous display of content provide by different cameras at the same time. When two digital viewfinders are provided, the user interface allows zooming, freezing, and panning of one digital viewfinder independently of the other. The device allows storing of a composite images(sic) and/or videos using both digital viewfinders and corresponding cameras.

Apple is listed as the applicant. The inventors listed are Jeffrey Traer Bernstein, Lukas Robert Tom Girling, Linda L. Dong, Henrique Penha, Paulo Michaelo Lopez and Behkish J. Manzari.

Source: Patently Apple