Newly available patent applications show that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is striving to make the camera for the iPhone even better. The quality of the cameras found in mobile phones seems to be catching up with the quality of traditional cameras with each new generation of device. Apple’s iPhone 5 currently has an 8-megapixel camera, and Samsung’s (SSNLF.PK) Galaxy S4 has a 13-megapixel camera. Although Samsung may have taken the lead in megapixels with its latest iteration of its Galaxy smartphone, Apple appears to be developing some innovative technologies to make the iPhone’s camera even better reports Patently Apple.
According to Patently Apple, Apple has recently submitted four patent applications to the US Patent & Trademark Office regarding color balance and color correction for digital images. The first patent, titled “Transformations and White Point Constraint Solutions for a Novel Chromaticity Space,” covers “techniques for creating a novel chromaticity space that may be used as a framework to perform color balancing on images captured by a variety of different image sensors.” Essentially, Apple has invented a new way of balancing and processing colors in an image using the mathematically derived “novel chromaticity space” as a framework.
The second patent is titled “Alleviating Dominant Color Failure in Automatic White Balance Using Histogram Trimming.” Patently Apple describes the patent as generally related to “the field of color balancing.” Part of this patent also deals with the issue of “dominant color failures in auto white balance algorithms.”
The third patent is titled “Use of Noise-Optimized Selection Criteria to Calculate Scene White Points” and also “generally relates to the field of color balancing,” reports Patently Apple. This patent covers a technique for improving “auto white balance algorithms” found in digital media software. However, the techniques could also “be implemented by dedicated or general purpose hardware, general application software, or a combination of software and hardware in a computer system.”
Finally, the fourth patent is titled “Multi-Illuminant Color Matrix Representation and Interpolation Based on Estimated White Points.” This patent covers techniques related to the field of color correction, reports Patently Apple. Similar to the previous patent, this color correction technique could “be implemented by dedicated or general purpose hardware, general application software, or a combination of software and hardware in a computer system.”
Although the technical aspects of these patents can be quite difficult to understand, it’s nice to know that Apple is actively working to improve users’ ability to take even better pictures that will have even more accurate colors in them. It is even more amazing if you consider that cameras in phones began as gimmicky extras before becoming one of the main functions of the devices.
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