Looking at a new Apple patent that has recently surfaced, it appears we might see a dual-camera setup in future iPhone generations. The design uses two camera modules, one with a wide-angle lens and another with a longer focal length. Throw some Apple software wizardry into the mix and you get yourself a smartphone zoom lens that should get close in quality to fully optical zooms and much better than existing digital zooms.

However, improved zoom may only one be of several applications of the design. The dual-camera could also be used to create 3D images or increase image quality in wide-angle images by adding additional detail that is captured with the longer lens. 

In video mode it could help capture better still images during recording and allow for picture-in-picture effects, capturing footage that shows an entire scene and specific detail at the same time. It could also be possible to capture standard video on one lens and use the other for time-lapse or slow-motion recording. 

The technology is similar to that of startup Light's L16 camera concept. And last year Apple purchased LinX, a company that develops dual-camera systems, so it's not entirely surprising that we are seeing this patent now. However, as we have seen in the past Apple tends to be pretty conservative when it comes to its smartphone cameras, sticking with tried and tested concepts. So, while the company is clearly looking at innovative ways of improving the camera experience in its devices we should not necessarily expect to see a dual-camera setup in the 2016 iPhone models. 

Source: USPTO | Via: Apple Insider