Apple is looking to build upon the success of the 5 megapixel camera and High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature that it rolled out with the iPhone 4. A total of ten (count 'em!) camera-related patents were published by Apple last week underscoring the camera's importance in the smartphone form-factor.
The first is about how to eliminate taking blurry photos with the iPhone's camera. Apple's solution? Capturing several images in sequence (like it does with HDR) then comparing detected movement data and selecting the image associated with suitably low movement data.
Another patent covers how the iPhone handles vignetting effects using a "skin-tone-mask" to avoid over exposed photos. Apple's solution? An efficient skin tone aware color boosting algorithm that automatically detects the skin tone and non-skin tone regions of an image and adjusts the color boost in the two regions accordingly to create more visually appealing photos.
The other patent applications deal with fun topics like Radially-Based Chroma Noise Reduction (a.k.a. "lens falloff"), Chroma Noise Reductions, Automatic Tone Mapping, Continuous Image, Orientation Detectors, Automatic Exposure Mechanisms, Video Processing for Masking Coding Artifacts using Dynamic Noise Maps, Image Acquisition and Transcoding System, and Image Acquisition and Encoding System.
The piece is a great read for iOS, photography and patent nerds alike.