Apple buys LinX and its thin, multi-sensor camera tech

Apple reportedly bought its second camera sensor company in as many years, bolstering the camera potential for future iPhones.

Cameras in future iPhones could bring DSLR-like features and the ability to capture depth information thanks to new sensors from a company called LinX. Apple reportedly bought LinX on Tuesday for an estimated $20 million according to the Wall Street Journal.

Israel-based LinX specializes in camera sensors that are thinner than competing products but that's not all it offers.

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LinX also creates sensors with multiple lenses to help capture several images at the same time. The pictures can then be blended together into a single image, allowing for changing the image focus afterwards. The different sensors can also record data on the distance between the photographer and various subjects in the picture. Using these sensor arrays, a 3-D image is also possible.

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For years, Apple has relied on Sony camera sensors inside its iPhone products. It could continue to do so, however, this is the second imaging company Apple has purchased since 2013. Two years ago, Apple bought PrimeSense for a reported $360 million; that company created the 3-D image technology used in Microsoft's Kinect product.

Apple's iPhones are routinely among the most popular cameras, mainly because of their ease of use and because they consistently capture good pictures in most lighting situations.

There's always room for improvement though, particularly in low-light settings. Adding cameras with additional sensors that take photos at various apertures can certainly help while also keeping the iPhone as thin as possible.

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