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Apple Patent Enlightens Multiple Flashes

Pretty much every single smart phone around comes equipped with a camera or two. However, there are very good reasons why these portable wonders haven't replaced DSLR cameras quite yet. While phone companies globally are working hard to get phone cameras with variable shutter speeds, adjustable aperture settings, and even replaceable lenses, Apple has now taken steps to try to improve the camera's infamous reputation of taking horrible low light pictures. Their solution: synchronized flashes.


Apple has filed yet another patent, this time focusing on getting multiple devices to synchronize their flashes while a master unit takes the actual photo. The main device would first snap a preliminary shot and, after analyzing the photo, configure all the remote 'slave' devices for their flash duration and intensity, followed by a melodramatic blinding flash from all the connected devices to produce the final result. 

Note that we have used the word "devices" instead of "mobile phones" in the previous paragraph, meaning that this patent could eventually lead to your phone using everything from house lamps to tablets to professional camera photography equipment. However, knowing Apple, the technology would most likely link iOS devices together at first, and maybe even try to incorporate cross platform devices in the future. While this idea has been hanging around the photography industry for years now, this is the first time the idea has actually been applied to a patent. We hope to see other companies experiment with this kind of set-up in the future and come to an agreement with Apple concerning cross platform support.

  • dgingeri
    Another Apple money grab at things that have been in use for ages...
    I really hope someone in the patent office gets a clue and declares this invalid.
    Reply
  • ingtar33
    considering the photography industry has used multiple flashes for decades i somehow doubt this patent will survive a challenge if approved.
    Reply
  • lunix
    Did anyone manage to find the Apple patent protecting "a software to retrieve existing patent filings, append the words 'on a mobile device' and submit the result as a new patent automatically" yet?
    Reply
  • wiyosaya
    I agree, ingtar. If this patent does get approved, though, I will lose absolutely all faith in the US patent system. This patent should never be approved.
    Reply
  • teh_chem
    10874643 said:
    I agree, ingtar. If this patent does get approved, though, I will lose absolutely all faith in the US patent system. This patent should never be approved.

    You have faith in the US Patent system...?
    Reply
  • ricardok
    Isn't this just like Google's patent? http://www.unwiredview.com/2013/01/29/a-nexus-or-motorola-phone-with-multiple-led-flashes-new-google-patent-says-thats-likely/
    Reply
  • sundragon
    Wow, no one has patented this technology up till now? I wish this site would list Samsung and Google patents as well.
    Reply
  • w8gaming
    There has been article describing why Apple managed to own patents that look obvious to common man. Their secret is they keep trying to rewrite the patent applications in different way until they get lucky and patent office accept it. In my opinion, the patent system is now being exploited by patent trolls. Here is the article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/08/technology/patent-wars-among-tech-giants-can-stifle-competition.html?pagewanted=all&_r=4&
    Reply
  • w8gaming
    I have no objection for Apple implementing this in their devices. But patent? Now photographers all over the world have to pay Apple just to have a job?
    Reply
  • falchard
    Apple patenting what has already been invented.
    Reply