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Apple patents remote control for iPhone camera

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Apple has been granted a patent for a device that would allow you to control your iPhone's camera remotely. 

A patent for a wireless accessory that allows users to remotely control the camera of an iPhone - including image preview, capture and review - has been granted to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It was discovered on the USPTO website by Appleinsider.com. The abstract of the patent specification reads as follows:

A camera capable of capturing still images and video and included in a portable media device can be controlled remotely using an accessory. The accessory can register with the PMD to automatically receive notifications whenever there is a change in the camera state. The camera states can include mode, operation status, and configuration settings. The accessory can send instructions to a camera application that interfaces with the camera to control the camera. The accessory can remotely activate the camera, change camera mode, and send instructions to operate the camera. The accessory and the PMD can concurrently control the camera. The PMD can send the captured still images and recorded video to the accessory for preview and receive instructions from the accessory on disposition of the still images and the video.

The invention could be described as a remote control with two-way communication. You can not only control an iPhone's or iPad's camera via a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth link, but the camera also reports its status back to the remote control. This is done via lights or via the UI on the device's screen. Controls could include functions like switching from stills to video mode, changing shutter speeds and video frame rates, or simply opening and closing the camera app. 

With the ability to display a live preview and review images, the device works the same way as smartphone apps that are used to remotely control Wi-Fi-capable compact cameras and DSLR's, such as Sony's PlayMemories app. This can be useful for group self-portraits, when taking pictures with the phone mounted on a tripod and positioned close to the ground or high up, or for surveillance purposes.

Of course we don't know at this point if the patent will ever result in an actual product but there is no doubt that, at the right price, it could be a useful accessory for mobile photographers in certain situations.

Source: USPTO | Via: Appleinsider


  

Comments

Total comments: 50
TOM SKY
By TOM SKY (2 months ago)

Backward thinking just as any of the latest ideas of Apple missing the genius of Jobs

why not going for something smarter such as HI Quality remote camera controlled by Iphone or even same camera thats already in Iphone that could be triggered by phone

we already can remotely trigger iphone camera by earphones cable no need for extra controls other than shutter release

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (4 months ago)

WiFi, blue tooth?
A patent for this?

It isn't April 1 yet ... be more patient
A $10 accessory, no more.

My Galaxy Note 2 controls My EM-1 via WiFi right NOW .. MUCH more useful to have a toy controlling a real camera than vice versa.

0 upvotes
speculatrix
By speculatrix (4 months ago)

I've had a Sony camcorder for about 8 years which had a bluetooth remote control option (allowing viewing of what the camera sees), as well as traditional IR.

My Sony Xperia phone can be controlled by my Sony smartwatch which controls it over bluetooth, and acts as a remote viewfinder.

I cannot see how Apple can claim to be innovative here.

Comment edited 9 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Scottelly
By Scottelly (4 months ago)

A new $49 accessory for your iPhone . . . and it works with iPads too. Of course Apple will probably sell it in their stores for $129.

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (4 months ago)

Ten bucks tops. Why remote control a toy?
My Galaxy noTe1 2 controls my EM-1, That actually makes sense.

This "patent" is not even catching the leaders.

The Note 3 already has it, and with a NOTE 4, you'll be able to control your on-the-surface camera from underwater, should the mood take you.

Keep an eye on kids while you're diving for pearls? Text them if they are being naughty? Sheesh!!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (4 months ago)

Interesting to remote-control a smart phone to take pistures and/or videos.

I will suggest to remote control it from a wifi-enabled compact camera! looollllllllll

1 upvote
Jake21
By Jake21 (4 months ago)

What about this item justifies a patent? Crise the american patent office sucks.

7 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (4 months ago)

The patent office that brought us the XOR cursor patent?

0 upvotes
Michael Ma
By Michael Ma (4 months ago)

Apple needs a new patent research firm. Note 3 already has this feature in the stock camera app called Remote Sharing under the share icon. For example, you can control and get a live preview of the Note 3 camera on your Note II (or any Samsung phone), It works for photos and videos. You get access to pictures taken.

It looks many times more sophisticated than what's outlined in this patent because on the iPhone it doesn't look like you have access to 100% of the camera features on the host iPhone.

0 upvotes
badi
By badi (4 months ago)

Well... what you are saying is like using a phone to remote use another... interesting because it's common to have more phones in one place (i mean you have one, your friend's theirs)
But this is actually a remote control for the phone camera (with it's own screen) ... it will never going to happen, because it's easier to use a "camera module" that is controlled through your phone, and this way you have better IQ/zoom. I say this, since as an apple accessory will cost more than a decen camera module :)).

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (4 months ago)

Was done last August with the Note 3 ...

0 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (4 months ago)

Everybody's jumping to conclusions about "not new" and "prior art" and such but there are aspects of this that seem atypical for your usual camera remote: Like: "... The PMD can send the captured still images and recorded video to the accessory for preview and receive instructions from the accessory on disposition of the still images and the video."

Most remotes cannot exchange images with the controlled camera.

0 upvotes
vadims
By vadims (4 months ago)

> there are aspects of this that seem atypical for your usual camera remote: Like: "... The PMD can send the captured still images and ... <>

And round corners. You forgot round corners.

2 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (4 months ago)

My Galaxy controls my EM-1

I can see and download pics AND see the camera view in real time,and control many aspects of the camera's operation.

This "innovation" isn't even "catching up".

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
jackpro
By jackpro (4 months ago)

http://dx.com/p/ipega-pg-9019-bluetooth-remote-control-self-timer-camera-shutter-for-ios-android-phone-black-266928#.UyoioPmSygU

0 upvotes
Bob Meyer
By Bob Meyer (4 months ago)

Absurd! The PTO should be abolished and started over. There is so much prior art here that this patent application should have bee rejected immediately.

3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

Another obvious "invention".

3 upvotes
chris_j_l
By chris_j_l (4 months ago)

That remote looks a bit complex. Is there a nano iRemote to control the iRemote - preferably with a single button?

1 upvote
Cheng Bao
By Cheng Bao (4 months ago)

People use smart phone to remote control their cameras. Now we have a remote control of remote control.

3 upvotes
Tardyvar
By Tardyvar (4 months ago)

Hum, leave your lovely expensive iPhone propped up in a room to take remote pictures with a less expensive remote device is really gonna work. So far, I use a cheap CCTV camera for that...

1 upvote
MarshallG
By MarshallG (4 months ago)

Sounds like there's prior art on that invention.

1 upvote
photohounds
By photohounds (4 months ago)

Yeh, From about 4 quarters ...

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (4 months ago)

Magical.

0 upvotes
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (4 months ago)

co... come again? :-|

0 upvotes
Jurka
By Jurka (4 months ago)

But there still is no exposure compensation in Apple products...

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (4 months ago)

... and no manual anything, unlike all other smartphone OS'es, even dead ones like Symbian or Windows Mobile...

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (4 months ago)

You are holding it wrong ...

0 upvotes
NotSteve
By NotSteve (4 months ago)

Great Apple. Is this your latest collaboration with the NSA? Really, really bad idea. It will make it that much easier for someone to engineer a bluetooth or other hack to take over your phone and surreptitiously turn on the camera without you knowing.

1 upvote
SemperAugustus
By SemperAugustus (4 months ago)

Selfies made easy....

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (4 months ago)

I thought the front camera on 90% of cell phones already did that.

3 upvotes
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (4 months ago)

...ouf, c'est tellement "passée", la caméra frontale... :-D

0 upvotes
SemperAugustus
By SemperAugustus (1 month ago)

tkbslc,
they do, but unless you are the rubber man from the Fantastic 4, you can't do a selfie at a distance longer than your arm, can you?

0 upvotes
Albert Silver
By Albert Silver (4 months ago)

Looks like they are already preparing the way for the iWatch.

4 upvotes
lurchbird
By lurchbird (4 months ago)

I just came here to say the same thing. Now if the iWatch had a preview on it as well, that would be cool!

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (4 months ago)

iWhat?

Sam's already planning their THIRD year's iteration which will have 3G ...
No doubt LG, SONZY and Pebble will be hot on their heels.

Apple's watch is ..... oh .. it does not exist and apple will have to COPY the others.

0 upvotes
DotCom Editor
By DotCom Editor (4 months ago)

I thought I was supposed to use the iPhone to remotely control my DSLR. Now I'm supposed to use something different to control the iPhone? Maybe an Android app for the Samsung Galaxy S5?

2 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (4 months ago)

Wouldn't it be ideal, then, if you could control your iPhone with your DSLR? We should get an app for DSLR's for that...

3 upvotes
Tonkotsu Ramen
By Tonkotsu Ramen (4 months ago)

still no NFC?

It won't be easy to set up then.

2 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (4 months ago)

Sorry, but you're wrong. Assuming pairing is done via BlueTooth (which, then, negotiates for example a Wi-Fi ad-hoc network so that the bandwidth will be more than sufficient for high-fps video streaming for live view purposes), then, it's not harder than pairing, say, a headset to your iPhone NOW...

1 upvote
3DSimmon
By 3DSimmon (4 months ago)

Still way easier With nfc

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (4 months ago)

"Still way easier With nfc"

It definitely is.

0 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (4 months ago)

NFC only deals with the identification (it's dumb RFID at its core), for everything else there's Bluetooth involved.

0 upvotes
Giklab
By Giklab (4 months ago)

iPhone control via an iPod maybe?

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (4 months ago)

What's the point except to own two backward devices?

0 upvotes
mgblack74
By mgblack74 (4 months ago)

So we can use iPhones and iPads to remotely trigger our cameras. And now we can have a remote to trigger our iPhones and iPads? Genius! That's like my wife telling me to tell the kids to clean up.

3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (4 months ago)

I'm trying to think of a typical use scenario for this and I'm struggling. Normally if you want to to the trouble of setting up a camera with a remote trigger, it would be a higher end or specialized camera and using the phone as the controller.

2 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (4 months ago)

Well, there are use cases for this. For example, as the developer of some JB'n video tweaks for iOS, I very often use the iPhone put in a corner to record what's going on (for example, a family meeting). Then, it'd be great to see what's happening / being shot without having to actually go there and bend over the iPhone to see the screen.

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (4 months ago)

Use a phone to control a proper camera like an EM-1 or EM-10... your second body on a tripod.

0 upvotes
QuarterToDoom
By QuarterToDoom (4 months ago)

So they patented the Wii U gamepad?

4 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (4 months ago)

Nearly as good as WiiU ...

0 upvotes
Total comments: 50
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