Apple invents a way to Split Record a Video in Wide Angle and Zoom Simultaneously using a Dual Lens iDevice Camera
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to user interfaces of electronic devices, particularly devices having dual built-in cameras that could simultaneously record and display two different viewfinders for creating videos.
Camera features are usually updated every year from Apple and their competitors as cameras are a make-it of break-it feature for some consumers. Only time will tell if Apple's latest camera invention makes it to prime time someday soon, but it sure sounds interesting to be able to film from two different perspectives at the same time as our cover graph illustrates.
The easiest example of being able to film from two different perspectives simultaneously from an iDevice with a dual lens camera is presented in Apple's patent FIG. 7 presented below.
Apple notes that "Attention is now directed to embodiments featuring dual, simultaneously displayed digital viewfinders for creating videos, with reference to FIG. 7.
As seen in FIG. 7 below, device #700 has cameras #702-A and #702-B located on a side opposite of display #704. The display provides a camera user interface #706 having dual digital viewfinders #708-A and 708-B. Viewfinder 708-A displays content from one camera (e.g., camera 702-a) while viewfinder 708-B displays content from the other camera (e.g., camera 702-b). Camera 702-A is a wider-angle camera and camera 702-b is a higher-magnification camera. .
The user interface allows a user to manage the compositions of digital viewfinders 708-A and 708-B independently, such as by zooming and panning viewfinder content separately.
The user interface also allows a user to initiate simultaneous recording (e.g., storing) of visual information from both cameras.
As seen in the example of FIG. 7, device #700 can simultaneously record/store a wider-angle video based on the composition of viewfinder 708-A, as well as a more zoomed-in video based on the composition of higher-magnification viewfinder 708-B.
In the illustrated example, device #700 is recording/storing a court-side view of a volleyball serve using the wider-angle composition of viewfinder 708-A, as well as an enlarged view of a single volleyball player based on the higher-magnification composition of viewfinder 708-B.
In some embodiments, the user interface permits user control of the frame rate at which "video" is recorded / stored. For example, the user interface can record / store visual information from camera 702-A (as shown in viewfinder 708-a) at 24 frames per second (fps), which is accepted in filmography as sufficient for producing content perceived by human users as video.
Simultaneously, visual information from camera 702-B (as shown in viewfinder 708-B) can be recorded / stored at a higher frame rate, such as 48 fps, to enable slow motion playback of the volleyball player's serve in detail.
Conversely, visual information from camera 702-B can be recorded / stored at the typical 24 fps while visual information from camera 702-A is stored at a lower rate of three fps so as to impart a snapshot quality to the "video" taken from camera 702-A.
In some embodiments, the user interface permits user control of other visual characteristics that are applied to a recorded / stored video. In some examples, content from the first and second cameras are recorded and stored at different resolutions.
In some examples, content from the first and second cameras are stored using different image enhancement techniques, including image processing techniques that alter the appearance of an image or video, such as its brightness, contrast, saturation, hue, color intensity, exposure, color scheme, and/or the application of filters.
In some embodiments, content stored from one camera and used as an identifier for content stored from another camera. For example, a still image obtained from wider-angle camera 702-A is used as a thumbnail image to represent a video file created based on content from higher-magnification camera 702-B. The iDevice can display the thumbnail image (or other graphical representation) of the stored video among a library of videos for later playback selection.
Apple's patent FIGS. 8A and 8B are flow diagrams illustrating an exemplary process for providing viewfinder zoom capabilities using multiple cameras.
Apple's patent application was filed in January 2018. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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