How to Focus iPhone Pictures

plenoptic iPhone camera
Getting a good “in-focus” photo with your iPhone may soon get much easier.

Currently iPhone users can touch the screen where they want the focus, before snapping the pic. As any avid iPhone photographer can attest, it’s not ideal unless the camera and subject are completely motionless.

As Apple keeps looking to shove the latest cool, new technology into every updated edition of the iPhone, there’s evidence that the camera might be getting some new attention. You can only shove so many megapixels on a camera phone, but you can create a lot of other attractive options for camera phone junkies.

Apple has filed a plenoptic patent – a light field technology that would allow a user to set the focus on any part of an image after it’s been taken.

Interestingly enough, Lytro has been developing this technology for the last few years. Check out their image gallery to play around with refocusing and see the impressive technology at work.

Apple’s patent describes a distinction whereby low-res images and fixed high-res images can be used. They also point out that the technology can be added to existing cameras already on the market.

Amazingly, that was all that was necessary to claim rights. Welcome to the world of patents.

nokia plenoptic phoneDoes this patent indicate that we’ll be seeing plenoptic technology on a future edition of the iPhone? Will it make shooting photos a better experience, producing better quality images?

Apple is likely trying to keep up with the advancements of other smart phone makers. The Nokia Lumia Windows phone is soon to be released with yet another version of this same technology.

Light-field technology is catching on.

Apple hasn’t disclosed any details of an updated iPhone (as usual) but plenoptic technology seems to be the wave of the future and with the recently filed patent, I think it’s a safe bet that focusing will be a lot easier on an upcoming model of the iPhone.

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