Apple Patent Eliminates Protruding Camera & Improves Lenses
The lens system embedded in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and the iPad Pro is not exactly one of the aesthetically pleasing points of these Apple devices. Good news if this has been bothering you: Apple has filed a patent for a more powerful lens system which would employ a mirror to enhance the focal length and get rid of the unsightly protruding lens.
In the aforementioned patent, Apple is pioneering a periscope-styled lens system, which uses a fold mirror and a total of four lens elements between the subject and the image plane. This would probably allow Apple to move some of the parts further into the case, while enhancing image quality and extend the creative freedom your iPhone camera allows for. The periscope principle guides light through the front vertex and mirrors the subject at a 90 degree angle downwards towards the actual image sensor.
This setup would also allow for a larger range that would encompass even wider shots. A dual-camera system could also be constructed according to this system, the latter has been speculated to be a part of the upcoming iPhone 7 Plus. A space-saving design like this might enable Apple to include special purpose lenses rather than focusing on producing an allrounder setup, effectively improving the fidelity of your zoomed-in tele and wonderfully open wide shots.
The idea itself isn’t new, but applied to the smartphone space it would certainly be something that has not been done before. Apart from the design bonus, the improved camera performance is something iPhone buyers would definitely crave.