or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple invents iPhone camera lens actuator made of artificial muscle
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple invents iPhone camera lens actuator made of artificial muscle

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published an Apple patent application for a method of constructing a camera lens actuator that uses a single artificial muscle structure rather than traditional motors to control focus and aperture size.

iphone-5s-camera-20130910.jpg


According to Apple's aptly named "Artificial muscle camera lens actuator" filing, suggestions to apply artificial muscle technology to camera autofocus actuators have been floating around for some time, but the electro-active polymer (EAP) materials on which the tech is based were not suitable for mass manufacture until recently.

With the proliferation of haptic feedback features in devices like remotes for video game consoles, the appropriate engineering cogs are in place to mass produce the materials, though an exact production design tailored for camera autofocus actuators has yet to be vetted.

To that end, Apple proposes a micro electromechanical system (MEMS) design using an EAP layer having a frusto-conical shape as seen in the illustration below. Situated at the tip of the artificial muscle structure is an opening to be used as the camera's aperture, which can be variably displaced via complementary electrodes attached or screen printed onto the front and back of the layer.


Source: USPTO


The EAP layer itself can include one or more layers of polymer material sandwiched together between the two flexible electrodes. When voltage is applied, the potential differential generates an electrical field that subsequently activates conductive particles in the polymer layers to create a substantial force that results in elongation of the structure.

The example above shows the force exerting itself in a rearward direction with potential difference on opposing surfaces depicted by "e+" on the positive electrode and "e-" on the negative electrode. A spring attached to the lens barrel or lens holder creates a loaded opposing force that can overcome the first force, thereby facilitating forward and backward movement along the imaging axis.



Taking a closer look at the artificial muscle structure, the image below illustrates how both displacement and variable aperture control can be achieved in a single mechanism. The formation places a positive electrode on the inside of the EAP layer with a gap running from its base to the tip, splitting it into two separate actuation segments that control lens barrel movement.

A third electrode is placed within the created gap so that an aperture created in the EAP material can be variably controlled by changing the electrode's potential independently of the two actuation segments. Alternatively, aperture size may be controlled by changing the potentials on the two actuation segments relative to the third electrode.



Apple notes an artificial muscle structure is advantageous because it can carry relatively large optics and consumes extremely low levels of power.

Whether Apple will apply the technology to a future iOS device remains unclear. As portables like the iPhone become increasingly thin with each successive generation, however, the company may soon find a need to look in the direction of alternative solutions to the rather bulky voice coil motor used in current models.

Apple's artificial muscle camera lens actuator patent application was first filed for in August of 2013 and credits Aurelien R. Hubert, Douglas S. Brodie, Iain A. McAllister and Jeffrey N. Gleason as its inventors.
post #2 of 68

Many, Many years ago I submitted a patent for a device that would amplify radio waves, as part of that, it used interferometry to split a laser and cancel out other "non information" on the carrier signal. I also designed a "ferro fluid lens" system -- which showed up in someone else's patent about 10 years later (but it was kind of an obvious application and I doubt it was from what I submitted).

 

The sad thing is that I sent this design to "Invention Submission Corporation" -- it's probably changed its name many, many times by now. That's a company that has ZERO engineers on hand to evaluate, but a lot of salespeople who say; "We think this has a lot of potential, so if you send in a few thousand more dollars, we can get to work on developing it further…"  Me; "You mean you don't have some people who can just look at what is being designed and realize that I've got 5 unique designs in here, and it would be really great to have an analog system to filter out nearly all noise on any signal, and then convert that to digital without having to boost the signal?" Idiots!

 

Instead of a very complex lens system to focus with a "muscle", merely having a small current in a series of ferro-fluid  capillaries to change curvature in a microsecond without moving parts would make this incredibly simple.

 

Sorry, I have to mope on occasion about having a mind that can solve things, but not a life where I can express any of those talents. 

 

It's good to see someone having a chance to innovate and find applications for new materials and processes -- and that's why it's fun to track Apple.

post #3 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

Many, Many years ago I submitted a patent for a device that would amplify radio waves, as part of that, it used interferometry to split a laser and cancel out other "non information" on the carrier signal. I also designed a "ferro fluid lens" system -- which showed up in someone else's patent about 10 years later (but it was kind of an obvious application and I doubt it was from what I submitted).

The sad thing is that I sent this design to "Invention Submission Corporation" -- it's probably changed its name many, many times by now. That's a company that has ZERO engineers on hand to evaluate, but a lot of salespeople who say; "We think this has a lot of potential, so if you send in a few thousand more dollars, we can get to work on developing it further…"  Me; "You mean you don't have some people who can just look at what is being designed and realize that I've got 5 unique designs in here, and it would be really great to have an analog system to filter out nearly all noise on any signal, and then convert that to digital without having to boost the signal?" Idiots!

Instead of a very complex lens system to focus with a "muscle", merely having a small current in a series of ferro-fluid  capillaries to change curvature in a microsecond without moving parts would make this incredibly simple.

Sorry, I have to mope on occasion about having a mind that can solve things, but not a life where I can express any of those talents. 

It's good to see someone having a chance to innovate and find applications for new materials and processes -- and that's why it's fun to track Apple.

Your patent idea reminded me of the oil lenses of the electric binoculars used in Frank Herbert's science-fiction masterpiece, Dune (1963). Of course, Herbert never had to engineer his descriptions to make sure they actually worked. I doubt there is any technology available that could make an ornithopter function.
Edited by SpamSandwich - 6/19/14 at 6:24am

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #4 of 68

This artificial muscle sounds amazing, and gross.  Here's hoping they give the first Terminators rubber skin, so we can spot them easily.

censored

Reply

censored

Reply
post #5 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

This artificial muscle sounds amazing, and gross.  Here's hoping they give the first Terminators rubber skin, so we can spot them easily.

No actual biological material is used.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #6 of 68

Interesting design. I wonder why they prefer to cover the entire circumference of the lens cone with this material rather than use several supporting members that can be independently tuned. I haven't messed with these actuators, but it seems like there could be some manufacturing variability on a piece with a large surface area, causing the lens to move laterally off the axis, and/or tilt, while multiple bits could be monitored and calibrated on the fly with software to keep it all collimated. 

 

At any rate, this is a very cool use of the technology -- I really like the aperture bit, as that removes a ton of moving parts and will provide wonderful blur outside the depth of field since there are no blades/intersections.

post #7 of 68
Muscles are motor in reality, nature's motors. Bionics here we come. I'm very glad to see Apple into this sort of future mind set. I'm sure Google will be also looking into this in relation to their massive investment in robotics. All joking apart, the Cylons are coming!
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #8 of 68
She said: Is that an iPhone in your pocket -- or is it just happy to see me?
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
post #9 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post

Interesting design. I wonder why they prefer to cover the entire circumference of the lens cone with this material rather than use several supporting members that can be independently tuned. I haven't messed with these actuators, but it seems like there could be some manufacturing variability on a piece with a large surface area, causing the lens to move laterally off the axis, and/or tilt, while multiple bits could be monitored and calibrated on the fly with software to keep it all collimated. 

At any rate, this is a very cool use of the technology -- I really like the aperture bit, as that removes a ton of moving parts and will provide wonderful blur outside the depth of field since there are no blades/intersections.

But ... there goes your bokeh! lol

Would their patent exclude them from multiple muscles? That said, our eyes use one (as far as I know) for focus although many for eye movement. However, there is no reason Apple couldn't develop something superior to the human eye. A blend of insect eye and eagles eyes would seem appropriate for pretty spectacular photography I'd think. There is, as we all know, a lot of work going on with multiple lens technology for multiple DOF and angle of vision but all using traditional technology. As a semi pro photographer I get so excited about all these developments and I hope Canon are also looking at this too.

Meanwhile I will have to go back and check my Biology 101 notes ...
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #10 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

She said: Is that an iPhone in your pocket -- or is it just happy to see me?

ROFL
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #11 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

Many, Many years ago......

Ugh, you forgot the 'on a planet far, far away' part. lol.gif
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


No actual biological material is used.

I do know what artificial means :p

censored

Reply

censored

Reply
post #13 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


But ... there goes your bokeh! lol

Would their patent exclude them from multiple muscles? That said, our eyes use one (as far as I know) for focus although many for eye movement. However, there is no reason Apple couldn't develop something superior to the human eye. A blend of insect eye and eagles eyes would seem appropriate for pretty spectacular photography I'd think. There is, as we all know, a lot of work going on with multiple lens technology for multiple DOF and angle of vision but all using traditional technology. As a semi pro photographer I get so excited about all these developments and I hope Canon are also looking at this too.

Meanwhile I will have to go back and check my Biology 101 notes ...

 

I would think bokeh would be improved though. In my experience, the more aperture blades there are, the nicer the bokeh (for a given aperture and subject distance), and this is pretty much infinite blades.

 

I don't know that this patent excludes multiples or not -- I don't know that much about patent law, but it seems like a reasonable design direction. The patent link above was broken, and the Google patent search doesn't seem to pick it up just yet... and that exhausted the amount to which I care to figure it out :)

post #14 of 68
"Can't innovate anymore, my ass!"

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #15 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

 

Instead of a very complex lens system to focus with a "muscle", merely having a small current in a series of ferro-fluid  capillaries to change curvature in a microsecond without moving parts would make this incredibly simple.

 

I remember a patent submission like this about 5+ years ago. But i always wondered what the effect of gravity is on such a lens (or how much of the curvature is affected by gravity, depending upon orientation of the lens). I've never seen a commercial product that makes use of this idea, but at the time I always thought it may be applied to the human eye (for lens replacement).

post #16 of 68

The affect of gravity would be minuscule -- it's the size to surface area ratio where as you get smaller, surface tension replaces gravity as a factor. This allows insects to walk on water (for instance).

 

The other thing that you can use to cancel out gravity, is to put the "lens" inside of another fluid with a refraction index close to 0.

post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post
 

This artificial muscle sounds amazing, and gross.  Here's hoping they give the first Terminators rubber skin, so we can spot them easily.

Artificial muscle + liquidmetal.... wow, we could be on our way to an interesting future....

post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


Your patent idea reminded me of the oil lenses of the electric binoculars used in Frank Herbert's science-fiction masterpiece, Dune (1963). Of course, Herbert never had to engineer his descriptions to make sure they actually worked. I doubt there is any technology available that could make an ornithopter function.

 

I haven't read Dune for a long time -- but wasn't an Ornithopter working kind of like a Dragonfly? These insects create a vortex between their wings, and THAT lower pressure air zone acts as a sort of delta wing. Bumble bees use the same kind of process.

 

It's possible to create such a vortex with helicopter technology -- but I think it's mainly a matter of "inertia of design". The current fan or duct tech is known and mastered. If a vortex cannot create much greater stability and economy -- what's the pressure to push the technology. 

 

However, I do figure that vortex (like the Ornithopter) is far superior. But the liability of using ANY new technology in aviation is huge -- so we use what works forever and only make gradual improvements. Also, if you make a million selling same old, same old, and you couldn't really charge more for "new and better" -- what is the incentive to improve?

 

The OTHER huge problem however in an Ornithopter is the material strength that would be required -- in the Dune design, it keeps changing the vector of the blades. That isn't the way I would design one -- but it's a lot cooler in a Sci Fi story. We also don't have anything with the strength to weight ratio that a Dragonfly wing has with an 18 foot span.

post #19 of 68
Now we know why Ive was smiling like a Cheshire cat when he talked about "new materials". 1wink.gif
At some point in Apple's future, folks will point to 2014 and the 100 Days(nice round figure) that spans from WWDC to the release of the iPhone 6 along with iOS 8 in autumn and opine that 'This is where the transformation happened' and conveniently forget the tens of thousands of hours of sweat n' crap ;)that came before.
I have to say, this is all looking rather good. Ive's comment, "best product roadmap ever", iOS more open and this sort of blue sky thinking. Even split-adjusted, the stock is looking cheap.
post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post
 

The affect of gravity would be minuscule -- it's the size to surface area ratio where as you get smaller, surface tension replaces gravity as a factor. This allows insects to walk on water (for instance).

 

The other thing that you can use to cancel out gravity, is to put the "lens" inside of another fluid with a refraction index close to 0.

 

Sorry the refraction index for a material that does not distort light as it passes through is "1". We only have a few experimental materials with a refraction index less than 1. Diamond I think is 1.5 and that's what allows it to do some tricks with light such that facets create a "sparkle" which is also a prismatic effect on light.

 

The curvature of the surface boundary is what allows glass to create a lens effect even though MOST glass (except doped glass like leaded glass) is close to 1.03. So you could have a ferrofluid (small metallic particles suspended in an oil such that magnetic fields act on it -- in this case it would need to be either transparent, or a high quality mirror) inside of a hydrophilic substance (oil and water effect to reduce mixing). A very simple change from my capillary approach.

 

I still have a design for a flexible exo suit that would make people blast resistant and able to survive extreme depths -- it was a side effect of coming up with a way to exercise a person and I realized I could just reverse a few things to power the motion instead. The things I would build if I ever got with the right group of people who were good at "all the other stuff" that makes a business run.

 

It took me a long time to manage life by shutting down the creativity. When I finally got a "J.O.B." the less creativity in my brain, the better to function. It's very frustrating to not be good at the money aspect when that's the #1 factor in getting anywhere in today's world.

post #21 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

Many, Many years ago......

Ugh, you forgot the 'on a planet far, far away' part. lol.gif

Okay, so now we've got Star Wars, to go along with Dune, the Terminators and Battlestar Galactica,

but I have to say what Fake_William_Shatner reminded me of was…The Man Who Fell to Earth.

post #22 of 68

OK, my memory sucks. Glass has an index of refraction of around 1.52. Air is 1.003. Diamond is 2.418. Vacuum (no surprise) is 1.

 

Water changes it's refraction index based on temperature -- Ice having a lower index than water at room temperature. Should mean we can use interferometry to measure liquid temperature at a distance, right?

 

However, since a lens is going to need to curve light ANYWAY, you'd have some refraction or a LOT MORE based on the current applied to the ferrofluid lens.

 

Their system uses a bionic muscle (this tech is probably over a decade old by now) and I'm guessing it just expands and contracts so that a lens gets closer or more distant. They probably have to use the in camera sensors to determine if they've adjusted focus correctly.

 

This system would certainly lower the cost of focusing -- but my system would be more like the eye of some amphibians who use (I believe) an enclosed fluid layer along with a muscle contracted lens to focus. The ADVANTAGE is that they can focus in and out of water and see "into water". Birds use polarized lenses built into their eye to reduce surface scatter. It makes sense that amphibians adapted this way, as they came from aquatic creatures and "carry" their water with them. Humans don't live around water, so we package all our fluids on the inside -- not as good at adaptive vision but we also dry out a lot less. ;-)

post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by boredumb View Post
 

Okay, so now we've got Star Wars, to go along with Dune, the Terminators and Battlestar Galactica,

but I have to say what Fake_William_Shatner reminded me of was…The Man Who Fell to Earth.

 

Damn -- I think I was dizzy for about 12 years after I fell too -- makes a lot of sense of my childhood in and out of special ed classes. ;-)

 

Star Wars has awful tech -- except for how the Death Star weapon works, which I think was just an accident to "make something look cool." But if I were making a fusion beam weapon -- I'd have something like nuclear explosions in a plasma aimed at each other over a focusing parabola saturated with radio waves -- though I suspect it would be purple in hue.

 

Force fields however, would probably exist between arrays of coherent light (as light can be used to affect "space time" with a few tricks that can be done with a Bose Einstein condensate) -- though again, Star Wars doesn't bother to explain anything and they make "pew pew" sounds in space. Plus -- people need "the force" to aim better than a robot? Star Trek was way more on top of science -- they just tell the computer "target their propulsion system." In the future NOBOYD misses. It's just a macho hangover that we still have people feeling really deadly because they can aim -- and no human can beat a video game unless the computer is DESIGNED to lose. Almost everything in the Star Trek universe is conceivably doable, except I can figure 5 ways to create a transporter -- but their "atomize and store in a computer buffer" system is basically impossible. Also -- I don't believe Time travel is possible -- time is merely an energy potential state and there is no existing past or future. On the plus side, we exist because there is no such thing as time. We wouldn't have reality, otherwise (just my theory). And there are many, potential Universes but they all resolve to one -- so I broke with the MutliVerse and BubbleVerse theories that Hawkings is fond of. And no current theories seem to mirror my own about dimensional inversion at the beginning and end of the Universe. I predict I'm going to be right, but someone else will get the credit. 

 

Battlestar Galactica got a lot cooler in the revamp -- but their tech is either basic, unexplained, or magic. The "undetectable human like robots" are comprised of robotically created cells at such a "nano-level" that are indistinguishable from cells? So basically it's all biology but for the sake of a story line, we call them Androids. No chemical test can distinguish them from cells, so how could they be robotic? The rest is "buck rogers" and there is no attempt to explain the technology.

 

Heck, I went far afield here and need to bring myself out of the clouds again. Take the kids to see "Edge of Tomorrow." Nothing like a blockbuster to turn off the brain!

post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

No actual biological material is used.

Then it can't survive the trip back through time¡ (why else does everyone arrive naked?)

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Then it can't survive the trip back through time¡ (why else does everyone arrive naked?)

The future is clothes optional? lol.gif
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #26 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post

I would think bokeh would be improved though. In my experience, the more aperture blades there are, the nicer the bokeh (for a given aperture and subject distance), and this is pretty much infinite blades.

I don't know that this patent excludes multiples or not -- I don't know that much about patent law, but it seems like a reasonable design direction. The patent link above was broken, and the Google patent search doesn't seem to pick it up just yet... and that exhausted the amount to which I care to figure it out 1smile.gif

You may be right on bokeh, I was thinking you needed the blades to produce it.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

"Can't innovate anymore, my ass!"

Too late ... Google are already working on artificial sphincter muscles ...
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Too late ... Google are already working on artificial sphincter muscles ...

So tasteless, but so very funny.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #29 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

So tasteless, but so very funny.

You just defined English humor ... 1biggrin.gif
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Too late ... Google are already working on artificial sphincter muscles ...

 

Too late… Google glass was created to help target assh0les...

post #31 of 68

I'm waiting for the day when there's only a single camera module with both front and back-facing lens, taking advantage of the full width of the phone body. Physical mirrors inside could control which lens was "active".

post #32 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post
 

I'm waiting for the day when there's only a single camera module with both front and back-facing lens, taking advantage of the full width of the phone body. Physical mirrors inside could control which lens was "active".

 

I'm not sure it's practical. Look at the form factor difference between a Rebel DSLR and a comparable mirrorless 4/3 camera. That extra volume is mostly to accommodate a moving mirror.

 

A second sensor is going to be cheaper and smaller than a mirror with an accurate actuator. If the optics are compact enough to stack them back to back, you could just have them join at the sensor.

 

Optically though, the most important thing is glass, and more glass is generally better, so a bigger camera is going to accommodate more glass and a larger sensor. Both of those will lead to much nicer images.

post #33 of 68
This is a cool invention, but it represents more than that. Apple is no less innovative than Google, but Google is considered the great engine of innovation, the a Willy Wonka of tech, while Apple is considered to be content upgrading existing products. The difference is that Apple doesn't talk about what they do in their labs. The only way we can guess is by looking at their patent filings. If Google had come out with this, they would have gone farther to get publicity for this.
post #34 of 68
Originally Posted by vvswarup View Post
...Google is considered the great engine of innovation, the a Willy Wonka of tech...

 

By whom?!

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #35 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

By whom?!

Many people from the media to Wall Street to even people on this very forum. 

post #36 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by vvswarup View Post

Many people from the media to Wall Street to even people on this very forum. 

And what has Google done to claim this title?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #37 of 68
Originally Posted by vvswarup View Post
Many people from the media to Wall Street

 

So morons, then. :lol:

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #38 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

And what has Google done to claim this title?

Let's keep it simple. Something that supports the theory that Google innovates: Self driving cars.

I brought a snack, so we can talk this through.
post #39 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Muscles are motor in reality, nature's motors. Bionics here we come. I'm very glad to see Apple into this sort of future mind set. I'm sure Google will be also looking into this in relation to their massive investment in robotics. All joking apart, the Cylons are coming!

Doing a quick patent search I was pretty surprised to see how much activity there's been with artificial muscle and lenses, especially in human eyes.
https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=pts&hl=en&q=%22artificial+muscle%22+eye&num=10&gws_rd=ssl#hl=en&q=%22artificial+muscle%22+lens&tbm=pts
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #40 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

By whom?!

Fast Company for one, tho they're hardly at the top of list on tech matters.
http://www.fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies/2014/google

Washinton Post too, tho they have even a lesser tech pedigree.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/01/14/7-reasons-why-google-is-the-most-fascinating-company-in-the-world/

Over at Forbes you don't see Google mentioned until #47.
http://www.forbes.com/innovative-companies/list/

IMO Apple is very innovative tho perhaps in a more low-key way. To be honest as high profile as Apple is and as popular as their products are (iPhone probably owned by more media folks and bloggers than any other smartphone by a mile) they don't get as much credit for innovation as some other large companies, with the ranking from Boston Consulting Group being the only exception I came across in a brief search. They put Apple at number one last year, followed by Samsung at 2 1hmm.gif and Google in third place. BCG usually has Apple in first year to year.
https://www.bcgperspectives.com/content/articles/innovation_growth_most_innovative_companies_2013_lessons_from_leaders/
Edited by Gatorguy - 6/20/14 at 5:26am
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple invents iPhone camera lens actuator made of artificial muscle