LG's Dreaming Big in Its Patent for a 16-Camera Device


Phones with two or more rear cameras are already quite widespread, but with its recently granted patent, LG is dreaming of something much more ambizious. That's because although LG already has a five-camera phone in the V40, the company may be looking at more than triple that number up to 16.

The phone with 16 cameras draws immediate comparisons to Light's L16 camera. Similar to what's described in LG's patent, the L16's multiple lenses with different focal lengths allow you to do things like adjusting a photo's depth of field during post-processing, creating composite shots comprised of multiple exposures, and capturing images with varying levels of zoom without the need for add-on lenses.

Sadly, in the case of Light's L16, the specialized software needed to edit its pictures along with its $ 2,000 price tag made it a tough sell for pros who often found the device to be still too limited and it pushed away regular folk who didn ' t want to be bogged down with a second device that's hard to use and does not offer enough of an upgrade in image quality.

One thing LG's 16-camera device could be used for capturing different Angles of a subject without actually having to reposition its cameras.
Image: LG (USPTO)

However, Light's ability to put that many cameras in a device not much bigger than a typical Smartphone, and actually make it work, is something that has paved the way for smartphone companies as they continue to add more cameras onto the back of their handsets.

As for LG's patent, its 16 lens matrix would allow a device to capture a photo from multiple perspectives in order to gather additional depth and 3D info. The 16-camera Smartphone could use the data from multiple cameras to fill gaps in a photo that a single camera may have missed.

Image: LG (USPTO)

LG's patent also suggests that a device with this kind of camera arrangement could be used to create super-detailed HDR images, or even to help cut and paste subjects from one part of the frame into another like a sort of face-swap feature on steroids .

And for those lamenting the ability to shoot selfies with that many cameras, LG's patent also describes the possibility of adding a mirror and a speaker to the back of the device to help facilitate a wider range of possible use cases.

For now though, a lot of this is purely hypothetical, as it would be a massive leap to go from the three rear cameras on the LG V40 all the way to 16. But with Nokia's rumored 5-camera camera phone in the works, phones with 16-rear cameras probably are not that far off.

[via Let’s Go Digital]


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