Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Apple focuses on the camera

December 12, 2010: 7:16 AM ET

Ten patents published last week show how hard it's working on fixing your snapshots

Click to enlarge. Source: Patently Apple

Apple (AAPL) files a ton of patents, and you never know when one is published whether the technology covered will ever see the light of day. But the filings do tell you a lot about where the company is focusing its R&D efforts.

That's what makes the flurry of imaging-related patents published last week -- and summarized in a long post Saturday by Patently Apple's Jack Purcher -- so interesting. Coming on top of the iPhone's High Dynamic Range feature that Steve Jobs demoed last September, they indicate, as Purcher puts it, "the importance that Apple is placing on cameras within the context of the greater iOS device revolution."

Purcher highlights three of the patents:

  • One for correcting blurry photos (Patent No. 20100309334)
  • Another for masking skin tones (Patent No. 20100309336)
  • A third for reducing radially-based chroma noise (Patent No. 20100309345)

He also provides a handy link to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's search engine. Just click here and enter the patent number to get the full text and images.

Below: The other seven camera-related patents published this week.

  • Patent Application Number: 20100309344 – Entitled "Chroma Noise Reductions for Cameras
  • Patent Application Number: 20100309346 – Entitled "Automatic Tone Mapping for Cameras."
  • Patent Application Number: 20100309335 – Entitled "Images Capturing Device having Continuous Image Capture."
  • Patent Application Number: 20100309321 – Entitled "Image Capturing Devices using Orientation Detectors to Implement Automatic Exposure Mechanisms."
  • Video Related Patent: 20100309985 – Entitled "Video Processing for Masking Coding Artifacts using Dynamic Noise Maps."
  • Video Related Patent: 20100309975 – Entitled – "Image Acquisition and Transcoding System."
  • Video Related Patent: 20100309987 – Entitled "Image Acquisition and Encoding System."

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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