Apple patent shows potential use of shifting mirrors to help camera/optical stability

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2015, 08:16
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Patents, Pictures

losmirrors

When in doubt, use mirrors.

A recently published patent application posted on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office web site shows that Apple has revealed a new concept that would offer improved optical image stabilization using mirrors.

The patent, entitled “Mirror Tilt Actuation,” describes an image sensor for small, multifunction devices like an iPhone that would compensate for the user’s hand movement to improve picture quality.

Apple introduced optical image stabilization in its products last year with the debut of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The smaller iPhone 6 accomplishes this through software, while the larger iPhone 6 Plus also uses hardware OIS for superior image taking capabilities.

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Apple may be deploying its own mapping vans into the Bay Area

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 5th, 2015, 06:36
Category: Hardware, News, Pictures

applevan

If Google’s mapping vehicles seemed a bit strange, Apple may have their own making the rounds.

A number of minivans with what appears to be camera equipment and a LiDAR sensor mounted to the roof that have appeared around California in recent weeks could be part of a new Apple project, as at least one of the vehicles is registered to the company.

The minivans sport an X-shaped frame mounted to their luggage racks, with dark recesses that likely house cameras at each corner. The California Department of Motor Vehicles confirmed to San Francisco CBS affiliate KPIX that a blue Dodge Caravan spotted with the equipment was leased to Apple.

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First pictures surface of Fassbender, Rogen, director Danny Boyle on set of Steve Jobs biopic

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Date: Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015, 08:17
Category: Fun, News, Pictures

biopic1

Filming for the much-anticipated Steve Jobs biopic has begun and some interesting set pictures have leaked from the set via @motro68, complete with Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs, Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak and director Danny Boyle. Initial leaked images showed filming at Jobs’ childhood home in California.

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iBeacon manual goes into the wild, appears on FCC web site

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Date: Monday, January 5th, 2015, 10:38
Category: Hardware, News, Pictures

ibeacon

Apple probably didn’t intend to have its iBeacon design go into the wild.

Still, it’s an interesting piece of hardware.

Per 9to5Mac, a user manual designed for developers detailing the iBeacon hardware has become available via the FCC web site and visible via appadvice.com.

The Apple iBeacon mounts to a wall with a standard screw. There is an LED on the underside of the unit, which reports battery condition and general status. Although there is no mention of battery life, it probably lasts several months (Bluetooth Low Energy doesn’t drain much power) and can be recharged via micro-USB.

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Rumor: Leaked photo shows possible 2GB of RAM for next-gen iPad Air

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Date: Tuesday, October 14th, 2014, 11:02
Category: Hardware, iPad, Pictures, Rumor

The next-gen iPad Air component images are leaking at a fairly steady rate and revealing some interesting stuff.

Per MacRumors, a fairly clear image has been published by Apple.club.tw of what is said to be the logic board for the second-generation iPad Air suggests that the device will indeed come with an A8X chip, as hinted at in earlier images shared over the weekend.

Furthermore, the new image published by Apple.club.tw that seems to point towards 2GB of RAM for the device. Though the image of the RAM on the logic board is low resolution and fuzzy, enhancing the contrast and the brightness reveals a bit of information about the numbers on the chip. While the first letter is entirely blurred, it is the second character that is key to determining whether the chip is 1GB or 2GB.

nextgenipadram

A 1GB Elpida chip would have an “8″ in the second character slot, while a 2GB chip would have an “A” in the same spot. Because of the quality of the image, it is difficult to say for certain what the character is, but it does appear to be an “A” rather than an “8″ given that it is narrower at the top and wider at the bottom.

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Mock up photos of “iPad Air 2″ leaked ahead of October 16th media event

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Date: Wednesday, October 8th, 2014, 11:36
Category: Hardware, iPad, Pictures, Rumor

With Apple’s iPad event eight days away, the rumors and mockups are surfacing.

Per AppleInsider, Vietnamese blog Tinhte.vn has released shots of a mockup “iPad Air 2″ unit that features a trimmer profile, recessed volume buttons, and the addition of a Touch ID sensor to the home button.

The supposed dummy unit matches up nearly identically with previous “leaks.” The device apparently comes in at just 7 millimeters thick, the same thickness as the iPhone 6.

ipadair21

Previous speculation has suggested that Apple may be considering relocating the microphone, as the dummy does not sport a microphone opening on top. It could also simply be based on an unfinished model, with the side hold acting as a pilot for machining a larger opening.

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Seek Thermal releases affordably priced thermal camera for iOS, Android devices

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Date: Tuesday, September 30th, 2014, 09:19
Category: Accessory, Hardware, iPhone, News, Pictures, Uncategorized

If you’re looking for an affordable thermal camera for your iOS device, it may be en route sooner or later.

Per VentureBeat, Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company Seek Thermal launched an affordable thermal camera for for iOS and Android devices on September 25 priced at a consumer-friendly US$199. The camera attachment is now available for purchase through Seek’s website as well as Amazon.

Unlike normal cameras which use light to form images, thermal cameras have special lenses and sensors that capture heat and construct images based on the variations they pick up on. The company expects the camera to be used mostly for safety and security (it can help you spot someone hiding), home improvement (it can help you detect energy leaks), boating (it can help you spot floating debris in the dark), and for finding animals and pets in the dark. However, chief executive Robert Acker is looking forward to seeing what new uses customers discover, he said in an interview.

seekthermal

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Opinion: Why the iPhone 6 camera is only 8 megapixels

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Date: Monday, September 29th, 2014, 18:07
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Opinion, Pictures

By Bob Snow

The iPhone 6 camera has the same 8 megapixel count as the 5s and this has spec-happy geeks bashing the phone. There are compelling reasons for going lower and I will try to lay them out.

Small sensors can suffer when they have a high pixel density. The sites that gather light become very small and they typically sacrifice low light performance. Low light performance gets traded off for higher resolution and even this becomes an issue with small sensors. No matter how high the resolution of the sensor, lens resolution comes into play much more when the sensor is small. If the sensor is small enough, the lens will not have nearly enough resolving power to take advantage of all the pixels. You need a bigger sensor for that. The image can only be as sharp as the light coming from the lens and that will most likely be the limiting factor. Think of a tiny sensor with a trillion pixels. Lens resolution will be the limiting factor.

iphone6camera

There is another reason the iPhone uses an 8MP sensor. Post processing. The latest iPhone 6 does a hell of a lot of post processing. According to Apple, “Auto image stabilization makes up for motion blur and hand shakiness by taking four photos with a short exposure time. Then the best parts of those photos are combined into one image with as little noise, subject motion, and hand shake as possible.” Apple is even using multiple exposures to eliminate noise in post processing. That is a lot of work, even for the powerful 64-bit A8 processor. The more pixels, the more processing that needs to happen. HDR is another feature that requires post processing. Multiple exposures are taken and then combined to create an image with greater dynamic range. Then there is burst mode. The camera takes up to ten images per second and then compares them all to select the best image. The biggest change to the camera of the iPhone 6 is the use of paired “focus pixels” which allow for phase detection auto focus. This is faster than contrast detection and provides big improvements to video and faster still shot focusing. Think about all of the post processing this phone does to the images, all without a hint of delay.

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iPhone 6 launches to enthusiastic crowds

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Date: Friday, September 19th, 2014, 12:04
Category: iPhone, News, Pictures, retail

At long last, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets are out.

Down at the Apple Store location on University Avenue in Palo Alto, the line attendees, led by Abdul Karim of Fremont, California, were more than ready. Karim, who had set up a lawn chair outside the Apple Store early Tuesday afternoon, appeared relaxed and ready the day before the iPhone 6 launch, spending time camping out in the line with his brother, Faz.

First in line attendee Abdul Karim at the Apple Store iPhone 6 launch in Palo Alto.

First in line attendee Abdul Karim at the Apple Store iPhone 6 launch in Palo Alto.

“We could have pre-ordered it, but it’s just time bonding with my brother, my cousin’s here with me too, so we’re having fun just camping out together,” said Karim. “Apple’s been fantastic. They’ve been telling us ‘if you need anything, water, umbrellas, whatever, just request it.’ Other than that, it’s Palo Alto, it’s a nice area, it’s fun.”

When asked what the most compelling feature of the iPhone 6 for him was, he commented as to the larger screen, its overall size and presence.

“The whole product just looks amazing,” said Karim.

The Palo Alto Apple Store location.

The Palo Alto Apple Store location.

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Purported photo of 2,500 mAh battery for 5.5-inch iPhone 6 handset surfaces

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Date: Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014, 14:30
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Pictures, Rumor

With a week to go before Apple’s September 9th media event and the purported announcement of the next-gen iPhone, a leaked photo of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 battery has surfaced.

Per AppleInsider and French web site Nowhereelse.fr, the pictured component — bearing an advertised 2,915 mAh capacity — is show as having been manufactured by Chinese firm Desay Battery, a supplier long rumored to have won contracts for the “iPhone 6″ lineup. French blog NWE indicated only that the part was sourced from China.

iphone6battery

A similar battery was included in a list of parts that leaked from Taiwanese sources in mid August.

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