Search giant Google has patented a technology that would incorporate a multi-flash camera on smartphones. Patent 8,363,157 granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office details how LED lighting can be used to allow a handset to take images with multiple flashes.
The patent, which relates to "flash mechanisms for digital cameras that are incorporated into mobile communication devices such as smartphones and tablet computers," states that a smartphone's shots can be improved through boosting flash capabilities. Google's patent showcases how different setups could be used to see flash modules either individually activated, triggered at the same time, or used individually in order to remove certain shadows in poor lighting. It'll also be possible to take several pictures in succession to allow users to shoot the same image with different light settings.
A mobile device could essentially take a batch of shots, which it'll then subsequently merge together in order to produce the best possible image; "such images may appear to have greater color, contrast, or depth than a regular single image of the group would have." This technique is known as HDR (High Dynamic Range).
Other recent Google patents include turning one's hand into a touchscreen and aiming to implement a laser keyboard for Project Glass.
Not really, fairly smart actually.
It's like a sort of built-in HDR or can make macro photography less annoying (like trying to fit an LED between the camera and the object).
2. Traffic lights don't have camera's built into them, they are separate and only use the flash to highlight the light-sensitive license plates and driver if possible.
3. I think you are thinking of just the lights themselves, but car indicators and traffic lights do NOT fire at different rates to create an "ideal" setting for a camera.
PS.. If you didn't detect the hints, I think you forgot there's a camera involved in this patent.
Just an idea. Hope Apple does not run to the patent office with it.
If it ISN'T more than what we see on some digital cameras, the patent system has failed us; if it is, then it's all good.
The same applies to Apple patents. Some of those just look too much like what already existed to most of us, and it upsets us to see people take credit for things they didn't really create - especially when it means financial reward is being given to an entity that doesn't deserve it. The failing isn't in that we have patents, or even in a company like Apple, it's in the ability of the office to determine the worth of submitted patents, if it allows these things to happen.
As lay people though, we have to remember that we are looking at these things from the outside, and it's really hard for us to judge them fairly. Patents are a good thing, sloppy administration of them is not, but in most cases we aren't well enough informed to truly know what is fair and what isn't.
Combining multiple exposures with different light levels and timing though does sound like something that might be new.
This is cool technology. This plus the new Blackberry 10 'rewind time' feature would be really cool together.