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Apple patents for underwater imaging iPhone up to 60ft depths

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We all know that Apple has introduced many futuristic features and specifications into its devices; and is still working on various projects to better its own capabilities. This tech giant has already applied for various patents for their future gadgets.

On September 22, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 63 newly granted patents for Apple. This series of patents also included the company’s patent for its iPhone with underwater imaging capabilities.

Apple originally filed the patent for this underwater imaging iPhone in 2017 and got the final green light from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office just recently. As we all know, some of the iPhones are already capable to work under 6 ft.

But this time, Apple will let you imagine a bigger picture here, more like 10 times bigger. Apparently, the new patented iPhones will be able to work up to 60 ft underwater and will be even able to take photos for you.

Possible features and specifications

This underwater iPhone will include various sensors including a light sensor, depth sensor, distance sensor and orientation sensor. Additionally, it will also have light-emitting and detecting devices.

Studies show that the spectral absorption of water tends to turn underwater ambient lighting conditions greenish. This might become a problem for underwater photography. But, Apple has also looked into the matter and come up with a solution.

Apparently, the control circuitry in this specific iPhone could perform color balancing operations and take other actions to compensate for this change in ambient lighting.

Clicking photos underwater is always challenging because of the chemicals, plankton and other materials present in the water. In that case, the iPhone may use light back-scattering measurements or other measurements to characterize the amount of murkiness that is present in an underwater environment.

A new era for underwater photography

This submersible iPhone may bring a revolution to the world of underwater photography. Every feature and specs of the smartphone will be working together to deliver the best photos for the users. Let’s see how it will work.

Apart from the mentioned sensors, the iPhone may also include a color ambient light sensor that will measure the ambient light spectra above water and underwater. The depth sensor may be used in measuring the depth of the image sensor and other components of the iPhone when operated underwater.

One of the most notable features of the waterproof iPhone will be its ability to adjust the light and color for the camera underwater. As water tends to absorb red light, the ambient light becomes greenish underwater. This greenish ambient light deviates from the Planckian locus and as a result, it produces unsatisfactory results.

To avoid this situation, color balance adjustments should be made include white balance and color rendering for non-achromatic colors. All of these corrections will be made by the iPhone’s sensors which will work together for better results.

On top of these, contrast can be enhanced to compensate for the loss of contrast in captured images due to murky water.

With the sensors, color balance for still and/or moving images can be adjusted. Compensating reddish illumination may be produced to help adjust the color of target objects in an underwater scene. Even a reddish filter may be switched into use as per the conditions.

If you like scuba diving or just love to explore the underwater world, then this iPhone certainly comes handy. With this, now underwater photography will become easier than ever as you need not carry digital cameras while going for a dive.

However, the whole idea of this submersible iPhone is still in the patents. The company has not yet announced if it is going to proceed further with this iPhone or not.

If this comes into the market in the future, we are sure that this amazing smartphone from Apple will certainly be able to give all the other cameras a tough competition with its up to 60 ft underwater depth working capability.


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