Apple is exploring the idea of merging images from many iPhone cameras and eventually controlling all devices simultaneously to achieve a 360-degree image. While the development of Apple’s cameras is still a hot topic in Cupertino, recently published patent applications speak of a technology that wants to use multiple sensors simultaneously.
“System for producing a continuous image from separate image sources Is the patent which concerns the synchronization of several iPhones, then the combination of images on a single one.
“A photographer, videographer or anyone else may wish to capture images using multiple image capture devices.”, explains Apple, “And combine the images captured by each of the individual devices into a single continuous image.” The idea would be to use different iPhones to create an image of a new kind. With this new technique of shooting, Apple hopes to be able to have access to a “larger field of vision”, which can even go up to 360 degrees.
Multiple iPhones for a single photo
Using multiple devices could mean using multiple cameras from the personal iPhones of an entire group, such as within a Family Sharing group. However, Apple’s patent application also describes the somewhat specific options that are required so that iPhones do not overlap and have maximum 360-degree coverage.
Apple describes this hypothesis as a “Image capture unit structure” and says the goal is to support the cameras “In positions, fixed with respect to each other”. The goal is that such a structure would give each camera a proper angle of around thirty degrees before the other devices take over.
To have the best possible photo rendering, it would be ideal for all the iPhones to be of the same models, so that the photos going to merge are all of the same quality and with the same shooting settings. This would greatly simplify the job of merging the photos, but the Apple brand has already prepared in its patent for a possibility of merging, even when the phones are not the same iPhone models.
A control center in an iPad?
According to Apple’s patent, only one person could be in control of this large structure with an iPad (photo above), and it could trigger a photo on its own. This would have the distinct advantage of taking photos at exactly the same time, an essential parameter when it comes to living photos. According to Apple, the easiest system to connect iPhones to each other is Wi-Fi.
At the moment, the patent only talks about this idea, and there is no indication that the solution will be added in the next iPhone. But it shows Apple’s interest in 360-degree photography, a sector that is still underdeveloped by the smartphone industry.