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Apple Patent Could Herald Interchangeable iPhone Camera Lenses 160

Posted by timothy
from the plug-and-shoot dept.
concertina226 (2447056) writes with this excerpt from IBTimes: "Apple has been granted a patent for interchangeable camera lenses — which could be used on the up-coming iPhone 6. The application was granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office in remarkably quick time, according to Patently Apple. Patent No. 8,687,299 has been granted to Apple today for 'Bayonet attachment mechanisms,' i.e. a bayonet mount that is able to securely attach lenses to an iOS device, such as an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. A bayonet mount is a fastening mechanism which is typically seen on cameras, used to attach lenses to the camera body. At the moment, there is no adjustable camera lens system in existence for smartphones, although there are lots of third party macro lens products that consumers can buy to clip onto their smartphone."
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Apple Patent Could Herald Interchangeable iPhone Camera Lenses

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  • wow, you mean like the 5s

    • More like the Nikon F...wait...no, looks like it goes on clockwise...like a Canon and every *other* bayonet mount in the history of photography, then.

      Seriously, except for the scale, how is this novel and non-obvious?
      • by Plumpaquatsch (2701653) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @12:25PM (#46631727) Journal

        More like the Nikon F...wait...no, looks like it goes on clockwise...like a Canon and every *other* bayonet mount in the history of photography, then. Seriously, except for the scale, how is this novel and non-obvious?

        "The attachment mechanisms may release from one another in a drop event or other incidence of force applied thereto by allowing a bayonet to radially move outwardly out of contact with a corresponding bayonet of the second attachment mechanism."

      • by lgw (121541)

        More like the Nikon F...wait...no, looks like it goes on clockwise...like a Canon and every *other* bayonet mount in the history of photography, then.

          Seriously, except for the scale, how is this novel and non-obvious?

        It's wasn't novel and non-obvious when it was first used for cameras, which is sort of obvious from the "bayonet" part of bayonet mount.

        Sadly, with the current patent office, April fools jokes are indistinguishable from reality.

        • More like the Nikon F...wait...no, looks like it goes on clockwise...like a Canon and every *other* bayonet mount in the history of photography, then.

          Seriously, except for the scale, how is this novel and non-obvious?

          It's wasn't novel and non-obvious when it was first used for cameras, which is sort of obvious from the "bayonet" part of bayonet mount.

          Sadly, with the current patent office, April fools jokes are indistinguishable from reality.

          Why didn't you complain at the first patent for a photographic bayonet mount, let alone for all the others? Because they weren't granted to Apple?

          BTW, these "bayonet" mounts were used long before bayonets, so cease and desist calling them that.

      • by Entropius (188861)

        As someone who recently switched from Olympus to Nikon: every damn thing goes backwards. The focus rings go backwards, the zoom ring goes backwards, and the bayonets go backwards.

        The optics are good and the images are nice, of course. But I wonder who decided stuff should go backwards at Nikon just for the sake of being different.

  • Bayonets? (Score:4, Funny)

    by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @10:46AM (#46630799)

    When apple wins a patent for "bayonet attachment mechanisms", why would you assume it would be used for camera lenses?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @10:51AM (#46630861)

      That's right! Maybe they're going to start offering phones with interchangeable bayonets.

    • by Guspaz (556486)

      Maybe because they RTFA'd, and noted the drawings of camera lenses attaching to smartphone cameras in the patent?

    • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @11:00AM (#46630955)

      Yes, it seems more likely the iPhone 6 will finally support 10BASE2.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by geekmux (1040042)

      When apple wins a patent for "bayonet attachment mechanisms", why would you assume it would be used for camera lenses?

      Uh, more to the point, when Apple wins a patent, why would you assume it was ever something we asked for or needed in a cell phone?

      1080p HD recording, multi-camera/lens capability, and 4G speeds rivaling landline speeds. I don't even know why the hell we even call them phones anymore. Today's cellular device is anything but, and 90% of those features we never asked for, but they sure do generate a shitload of privacy-robbing revenue don't they...

      • When apple wins a patent for "bayonet attachment mechanisms", why would you assume it would be used for camera lenses?

        Uh, more to the point, when Apple wins a patent, why would you assume it was ever something we asked for or needed in a cell phone?

        So you complain that Apple does something so nobody but them can put something you would never want on any phone you would ever want? Why?

        • by geekmux (1040042)

          When apple wins a patent for "bayonet attachment mechanisms", why would you assume it would be used for camera lenses?

          Uh, more to the point, when Apple wins a patent, why would you assume it was ever something we asked for or needed in a cell phone?

          So you complain that Apple does something so nobody but them can put something you would never want on any phone you would ever want? Why?

          So, you get all these features in a phone you never asked for, pay hundreds of dollars for it (which costs are partially driven from litigation), and then you want to bitch when all those neat features rob you of every bit of privacy in every way possible, and yet you like it because every cool app price tag says "free"?

          Let's also not forget you're buying a new battery in 6 months because of all those features you never asked for are sucking your battery dry all damn day.

          Clearly none of you got the point he

          • When apple wins a patent for "bayonet attachment mechanisms", why would you assume it would be used for camera lenses?

            Uh, more to the point, when Apple wins a patent, why would you assume it was ever something we asked for or needed in a cell phone?

            So you complain that Apple does something so nobody but them can put something you would never want on any phone you would ever want? Why?

            So, you get all these features in a phone you never asked for,

            So don't fucking buy one, you moron.

    • When apple wins a patent for "bayonet attachment mechanisms", why would you assume it would be used for camera lenses?

      Let's see... The claims sections of the patent in question describes the use of bayonet connections for lenses. The description section of the patent describes the use of bayonet connections for lenses. The drawings section of the patent shows a phone and lenses and the details of a lens connections...

      Nope, no reason at all to assume it would be used for lenses.

      (Seriously, how did this dr

      • by Zmobie (2478450)

        It is called a sense of humor? Maybe you should try finding your's again...

        • Humor is supposed to be funny, you seem to have missed that part.

          • by Zmobie (2478450)

            Oh? Didn't know they made you the authority on all things funny. Someone call the internet, there is a new boss in town!

    • Now Apple has invented the Camera to? Holy crap. Cannon's screwed!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Perfect for trench warfare!

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Perfect for trench warfare!

      Without the risks of Trench Foot!

      • Bring on the grenades with rounded corners.

        "Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Holy Jesus! What is that? What the fuck is that? WHAT IS THAT, PRIVATE PYLE?
        Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, an Android smartphone, sir!
        Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: An Android smartphone?
        Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, yes, sir!
        Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: How did it get here?
        Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, I took it from the mess hall, sir!"

  • No prior art here. A completely unique idea. I hand it to Apple for inventing the bayonet mount- on a computer.
    • by maz2331 (1104901) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @10:58AM (#46630927)

      This is an interesting variation of the camera lens bayonet mount that includes a "breakaway mode" if it is dropped that allows the lens to snap out without damaging the device or the mount. With a normal DSLR lens mount, that doesn't happen and the lens will remain firmly attached until one of the mounts breaks, whereas this one will release instead of breaking.

    • Each different type of bayonet mount will be patented - eg. Nikon F mount, Pentax K mount, Canon EF mount. Apple patenting a set of specifications for a mount is a perfectly understandable concept - they're not trying to patent a completely generic mount...

  • Lenses seem like a natural progression.
  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @11:00AM (#46630957) Homepage Journal

    Patent No. 8,687,299 has been granted to Apple today for 'Bayonet attachment mechanisms,' i.e. a bayonet mount that is able to securely attach lenses to an iOS device, such as an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

    Great.

    Stick a black synthetic stock and a large capacity SD card on that bad boy, and Diane Feinstein will demand it be banned.

  • by sootman (158191) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @11:03AM (#46630991) Homepage Journal

    Why? Because patents don't necessarily mean ANYTHING. Here's one from a DOZEN YEARS AGO [slashdot.org] about an Apple patent on color-changing cases. Still waiting for those...

    • Shhhh! Tiedye hypercolor shirts are MY thing. No one remembers them so everyone thinks I'm magic.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      It's something that has existed for years and that is extremely obvious, yet somehow they were granted a patent on it because "on a smartphone".

      • It's something that has existed for years and that is extremely obvious, yet somehow they were granted a patent on it because "on a smartphone".

        Funny how the patent doesn't mention "phone" anywhere - nor "computer" or "internet" for that matter. But hey, you claim shit like that all the time, so what else is new. Frankly, I blame you - Apple gets all these patents because you are so dumb.

  • in other news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lophophore (4087) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @11:12AM (#46631089) Homepage

    Apple receives patent #999666 for "power adaptor allows handheld device to be charged from AC mains" and patent #666999 for "Handheld device User-interface buttons".

    I hope this is an April Fools joke. How long have cameras had a bayonet lens mount?

    • Re:in other news (Score:4, Interesting)

      by DerekLyons (302214) <(fairwater) (at) (gmail.com)> on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @11:42AM (#46631373) Homepage

      I hope this is an April Fools joke. How long have cameras had a bayonet lens mount?

      "Bayonet mount" is a generic term, kind of like "screw" - I.E. just as there are a wide variety of screws and heads, specific mounts can and do vary wildly from each other.
       
      Different specific mounts have different features and performance. For example, the bayonet mounts used for light bulbs aren't suitable for lenses because their depth would make a camera unwieldy, complicate optical design, and wear quickly because of the weight of the lens on the relatively small pins. Hence, lens mounts use typically tabs rather than pins. Light bulb mounts also suck at maintaining close and rigid alignment - something a lens mount absolutely must have. Lens mounts also use different retention features than a light bulb mount to facilitate quick changes and reduce the relative force required.

      • I hope this is an April Fools joke. How long have cameras had a bayonet lens mount?

        "Bayonet mount" is a generic term, kind of like "screw" - I.E. just as there are a wide variety of screws and heads, specific mounts can and do vary wildly from each other. Different specific mounts have different features and performance. For example, the bayonet mounts used for light bulbs aren't suitable for lenses because their depth would make a camera unwieldy, complicate optical design, and wear quickly because of the weight of the lens on the relatively small pins. Hence, lens mounts use typically tabs rather than pins. Light bulb mounts also suck at maintaining close and rigid alignment - something a lens mount absolutely must have. Lens mounts also use different retention features than a light bulb mount to facilitate quick changes and reduce the relative force required.

        Wait, you're spreading actual information? But how can the trolls all yell, "Derp! Rounded corners! On a smartphone!"

    • The April Fool is you.
    • The patent titles don't mean shit, legally or otherwise. If you really want to know what a patent is about you should go straight to the claims.

  • I'm sorry but this has existed in one form or other on hundreds of different cameras for many decades! Simply adding one more camera to the list (iPhone) does not make it a new and patentable device! Clearly this is prior art and the patent should have been rejected by the patent office.
    • But but... it's "on a mobile device"... That makes it totally different!

    • by NoKaOi (1415755)

      I'm sorry but this has existed in one form or other on hundreds of different cameras for many decades! Simply adding one more camera to the list (iPhone) does not make it a new and patentable device! Clearly this is prior art and the patent should have been rejected by the patent office.

      Why is it that so many people think that the title is the patent (in this case the title of the news article, not even the patent title)? They're not patenting the idea of using any interchangeable camera lens on a phone. They are patenting a specific mechanism for an interchangeable camera lens. I'm not trying to say anything about the merits of the patent, just that it is certainly not trying to patent the idea of any and all interchangeable camera lenses on a phone.

      I know, I know, actually reading the

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @11:54AM (#46631479)

    I don't know why Apple would ever add a bayonet mount to a camera, it really messes with the smooth look they go for and makes for something really easy to break on a camera. Also anything recessed on a camera is going to get really dirty, and be very hard to clean - so this would mess with the camera for most people who never wanted to attach other lenses.

    Instead I would expect them to do something like a magnetic mount - they could easily place a steel ring around the lens opening, even just under the surface, that lenses could clamp onto via magnets. External lenses don't need to be mounted in any particular orientation, just straight over the camera lens...

    Also why is the story talking about adjustable lenses? That's not what the patent is about. It's only about the mount. Its not like I cannot already buy an iPhone case that has such a mount and attach lenses as it is.

    • I don't know why Apple would ever add a bayonet mount to a camera, it really messes with the smooth look they go for and makes for something really easy to break on a camera. Also anything recessed on a camera is going to get really dirty, and be very hard to clean - so this would mess with the camera for most people who never wanted to attach other lenses.

      I'm guessing you don't actually own an iPhone and have never actually handled one - they're anything but smooth overall. In particular, there's already

      • I'm guessing you don't actually own an iPhone and have never actually handled one there's already recesses which haven't shown any propensity to get really dirty.

        There have never been any with a well the size and depth of a camera bayonet (the only real recess looking at my phone now is the silence button, which is too narrow to get much link or other debris). I know because I have an iPhone case that has a lens mount included - typically anyone with a camera case that has a hole for the camera (all of the

        • There have never been any with a well the size and depth of a camera bayonet (the only real recess looking at my phone now is the silence button, which is too narrow to get much link or other debris)

          ROTFLMAO. Let's see... There's the speakers, the earphone jack, the charging jack, the silence switch, the on-off switch... Yeah, there's no real recesses on the iPhone.

          Look, I've used MANY external lenses with the iPhone and iPad. It doesn't have to be perfect, a magnet would easily place it within tolerance

          • There's the speakers, the earphone jack, the charging jack, the silence switch, the on-off switch

            I thought you said you had an iPhone? Theon-off switch is not recessed, it's just a button coming from the top.

            The other holes are mostly too large to matter - but in fact I have had lint build up in the headphone jack that had to be cleaned.

            You are also ignoring that none of those things really need cleaning to function, whereas even very small amount of cruft means visual impairment. Well, except for the he

  • patents have expired, and there are millions of lenses out there.

  • by MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @01:18PM (#46632065)

    when you can't tell whether an Apple patent story is serious or an April Fools joke.

  • by mmell (832646) <mike.mell@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @01:28PM (#46632139)
    Hundreds of (presumably) intelligent people all passing on an opportunity to prove that they can read. *Sigh*

    Apple's patent was pretty specific - and probably intended to prevent third-party manufacturers from making attachable lenses for iJunk without cutting Apple in for a slice of the pie. If somebody were to devise a (similar but different) mechanism for a non-Apple smartphone, it would almost certainly differ sufficiently from Apple's mechanism to be allowed (but only after Apple attempted to sue and get an injunction, of course). Again - *Sigh*.

    Let's also remember one other point - All the iPhones in existence were made by Apple, to the best of my knowledge. There are many manufacturers of Android devices. Apple may well be able to standardize their bayonet mount (their bat, their ball, their rules), but within the Android ecosystem such an item would require cooperation and buy-in from a majority of Android device manufacturers. Ever seen a horse designed by a committee? We call it a 'camel'.

  • "$PriorArt, on a phone."

    Innovation worthy of a patent, indeed. >_>

    • by NoKaOi (1415755)

      "$PriorArt, on a phone."

      Innovation worthy of a patent, indeed. >_>

      Well, then it's a good thing that's not at all what the patent referenced in the article is. Not only that, but the claims don't even mention a phone. Okay, I get not reading the patent. Even not reading the article and making uninformed comments is pretty much standard protocol, but if you had even read past the 1st sentence in the summary it might have given you a clue that it's a little more than just "$PriorArt on a phone." Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of patents like that out there, this ju

  • Doesn't Nikon already own this patent?

  • It's a simple bayonet with the added feature of one of fittings clips being able to move outwards in the event the attachment is knocked so the clip doesn't snap off.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      It's a simple bayonet with the added feature of one of fittings clips being able to move outwards in the event the attachment is knocked so the clip doesn't snap off.

      So Apple have copied the same design as the battery cover on every single remote control I've ever owned.

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