On Tuesday the U.S. Patent and Trademark office published a newly granted Apple patent that focuses on a method to capture stereoscopic image data. This could eventually allow Apple to release a depth enabled photography mode, similar to a 3D image.
Stereoscopic images work by taking two slightly different images that will be shown to the different eyes. Because each eye is at a slightly different position, this is what gives the perception of depth. It’s used in 3D movies and images already, Apple just wants to do this on a smartphone. Their method involves using a single camera and selecting and aligning suitable photographs taken out of a batch to generate a 3D image.
Apple is facing a bit of a brand issue. They’ve always been seen as the innovative company, although it seems like a lot of their recent devices aren’t revolutionary. They’ll want something big to show off on the next iPhone, and the one after that. This sort of feature would be perfect.