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Apple Patent Could Herald Interchangeable iPhone Camera Lenses 160

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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  • by maz2331 ( 1104901 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @11:58AM (#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.

  • by sootman ( 158191 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @12:03PM (#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...

  • in other news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lophophore ( 4087 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @12:12PM (#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 ) <fairwaterNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @12:42PM (#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.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @12:54PM (#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.

  • by Jeremy Erwin ( 2054 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @12:55PM (#46631483) Journal

    I think the patent is for lens mount that decouples itself in the event that the phone is dropped-- potentially reducing the damage to the phone and lens.