(iPhone 5 (white, camera closeup 001)

While we’ve all heard the saying “two heads are better than one,” a new Apple patent applies that thinking to digital images. The patent, granted Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, describes a method of combining two image sensors to produce a photo with the best quality.

In its U.S. Patent No. 8,493,482 filing, Apple outlines a ‘Dual image sensor image processing system and method.’ The company mentions the iPhone, iPod and some Macs as potentially benefitting from the technology, suggesting a likely iSight camera bump up and better imaging on future devices…

The Apple patent explains the invention could work either with one sensor (as is the case with conventional digital cameras) or is able to process the imaging data from two sensors.

Apple patent (dual-image sensor, drawing 001)

The system detects imaging flaws, such as dead pixels, coloring or lighting problems which are then compared against various stored measurements. Afterwards, flaws present in one sensor will be replaced by imaging data from another sensor.

The comparisons reportedly work both with photos and videos.

Apple patent (dual-image sensor, drawing 003)
The patent describes use of Bayer filtering techniques.

According to the filing, a Bayer image sensor may be interpolated when applying green non-uniformity correction techniques during processing to produce a full color RGB image.

As the iPhone grows in popularity as a device for serious photographers, Apple’s patenting efforts have often returned to enhancing the process. Previous patents have described ways to avoid camera shake by comparing images taken, providing the user several choices.

Another patent outlined a way to link iDevice cameras to act in unison, such as when requiring a flash to fill a scene. Earlier this year, Apple acquired a number of imaging patents from camera pioneer Kodak.

  • B088Y

    “Two heads are better than one.” Without the apostrophe.

    • Omar D. Plumey


      • Gorgonphone


    • Thank you, fixed

  • Luke Os

    Where did you find this “blueprint” picture. I’m sorry, I don’t know English very well.

  • Linton Findlay

    They need to pull out their a game with the camera on the 5s, especially with that 42mp lumia thats come out

    • Yunsar

      Firstly, I’m pretty sure it’s 41 MP. Secondly, images are not only about megapixels. If you are not going to zoom in on a picture, even 3 MP is enough for you. But you don’t need to zoom in that far, which is why 41 MP is useless for most people. It is more about quality and colours.

      • Linton Findlay

        I agree 41mp is excessive but it still is impressive, and it does provide a very good picture quality. Not saying they need to have that much of a high sensor, but they do need to have a similar break through, rather than just bump up from 8mp to 13mp

      • Diego Gastón Milano

        Sorry but I have to agree with Yunsar on this one. Not only it doesn’t prove to be of any daily use on averageto have a higher MP camera but also it would engulf all your device space real quick, that also includes video as well as the unnecessary power and memory (RAM) and battery consumption to process and save each one of those images.
        It is -indeed- about getting a better picture quality and not making it infinitely large.
        There will always be a point where bigger will not make much sense as displays will not grow forever in size and you don’t need 41MP to get a good resolution picture