Apple has patented a camera system for its Apple Watch. By combining images, the company wants to avoid disadvantages of smartwatch cameras.
Apple has been granted the patent Tuesday, AppleInsider discovered. Apple describes a camera system on a smartwatch that consists of one or two wide-angle lenses on both the watch itself and the watchband.
The cameras constantly record images that are merged by the system. The result should be one image that is automatically focused on the subject.
That would, for example, work with video calling. Apple states that traditional cameras on a watch provide ‘unflattering’ images that shoot in the nose, because users do not keep the watch right in front of their faces.
The Apple system would use the face recognition system to capture the user’s movements and convert them to a partially artificially composed view of the user’s face.
Video calling without lifting the wrist
With video calling, it would appear to the receiver as if the caller is holding the camera right in front of his face, while that camera is actually much lower. The face of the caller would also remain silent in the picture, even if the watch is moved.
Recent iPhones and new iPad Pro models already use a face scanner, allowing users to let 3D emoji imitate their facial movements. Apple may want to apply an adapted version of that technique.
Users could also film for themselves with the system. Even then, images from multiple cameras are merged so that precise targeting is not necessary.
Although the patent has been granted to Apple, it is not certain whether the company will actually apply the technology. Several other companies previously added cameras to smart watches, but they did not hit them. Recent smartwatches usually do not have a camera.