Apple files patent application for artificial muscle camera lens actuator
The guys from Apple Insider have discovered another camera-related patent from Apple. The document titled "Artificial muscle camera lens actuator" describes how a single artificial muscle structure is used to replace traditional motors to control focus and aperture in a camera module. The design is interesting because it can carry relatively large and heavy optics and consumes very little power.
According to Apple the idea has been floating around for some time but only now are the electro-active polymer (EAP) materials required for the technology ready for mass production.
The Apple design is based on a micro electromechanical system (MEMS) design that uses an EAP layer with an opening which acts as the lens aperture. This opening can be moved and controlled via electrodes which are attached to either side of the EAP layer.
As usual it is impossible to know if Apple has any plans to apply this technology in any of its upcoming phones or tablets. However, with battery life being one of the major points of criticism of current device generations any technology that can reduce power consumption would certainly be welcome by consumers. Click on the links below for a more detailed breakdown of the technology.