Apple patents iPhone camera remote control with display, asynchronous notifications

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2014
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple a patent for a wireless accessory that can control an iPhone's camera functions, allowing users to preview, snap and review photos remotely.

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While the application of Apple's U.S. Patent No. 8,675,084 for "Systems and methods for remote camera control" may not be immediately apparent, the property could be helpful when taking "selfies," vacation pictures and recording sports training sessions, among other uses.

The invention is straightforward and describes a remote control that connects to an iPhone or iPod via wireless link, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, to take photos and record video. In addition, the accessory can also display the photographed content on an embedded screen.

Camera Remote
Source: USPTO


Unique to the patent is a notification system that informs the accessory of a camera's state. For example, if a camera just took a picture, the accessory reflects that information back to the user through lights, UI changes or other visual indication. In other words, instead of returning to the iPhone for positive confirmation that a picture was indeed taken or the device is still recording, users would be able to monitor camera status remotely.

In some embodiments, the remote can take over higher camera functions like changing modes from photo to video, or changing shutter speeds and frame rates. This control also covers the activation of an iPhone's Camera app if the accessory receives notification that the software has closed or the device has powered down.

Users can also switch between camera views, including a live remote preview that allows for remote framing of shots. This function would be especially helpful for group portraits where the subject or subjects are near the edge of the frame.

Camera Remote


As for replaying images, Apple notes that both immediate previews and after-the-fact slide shows are available for perusal. Along with playing back static images and video, users can remotely edit, delete or otherwise manipulate images already stored in an iPhone's memory.

Devices similar to Apple's invention are already on the market, though most merely take advantage of the iOS Camera app's volume button shutter release. With these Bluetooth-enabled remotes, a single button is slaved to the "volume up" control which, when activated, takes a picture.

Apple's invention, on the other hand, allow for a fully-functional display and, most importantly, an asynchronous notification system that informs users about an iPhone's camera status.

Apple's remote camera control patent was first filed for in 2009 and credits Lawrence G. Bolton, Sylvain R.Y. Louboutin, Shailesh Rathi, David J. Rempel and Peter T. Langenfeld as its inventors.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    waybacmacwaybacmac Posts: 309member

    Hmm…give it a nicer, smaller shape…add a wrist band…might have something there. ;) 

  • Reply 2 of 11
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,122member
    The word "selfie" needs to go away and die. It's an infantilized version of "self-portrait" that makes me sick every time I hear it now.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,613member
    The word "selfie" needs to go away and die. It's an infantilized version of "self-portrait" that makes me sick every time I hear it now.

    LOL...
    Almost sounds pornographic doesn't it?
  • Reply 4 of 11
    "Hmm...give it a nicer, smaller shape...add a wrist band...might have something there."
    Yup. An it probably means no camera on the iWatch.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    Agreed, the non-word "selfie" makes me barf, excuse me "barfie".
  • Reply 6 of 11
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,459member

    Hopefully it includes an API so 3rd party camera apps can interface with it.  And why leave it at just controlling a camera....a good API will open it up to a world of functionality.

  • Reply 7 of 11
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Yup. An it probably means no camera on the iWatch.

    And a tip o' the hat yo Samsung for demonstrating what a stupid idea that was.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    gatorguy wrote: »
    LOL...
    Almost sounds pornographic doesn't it?

    No, just gay.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    Too bad whoever approved the patent apparently never saw a CamRanger. Gives all the same functionality, although with Canon and Nikon DSLRs. And that's a real product that's been shipping for about a year. And has an iOS app.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    tibortibor Posts: 12member

    I hope they make an app version so I can use an older iPhone or iPod touch to do the same thing.

  • Reply 11 of 11
    tibortibor Posts: 12member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AMusingFool View Post



    Too bad whoever approved the patent apparently never saw a CamRanger. Gives all the same functionality, although with Canon and Nikon DSLRs. And that's a real product that's been shipping for about a year. And has an iOS app.

    How does a whitebox GPS tracker compare to what Apple is planning?

     

    This is something I've been looking for for a while. As usual, Apple comes through.

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