The Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) technology will enable users to take super-HD photography by adjusting the optical path to the camera’s image sensor through an OIS processor. Another optical sample will also be taken, and this will be offset against the first optical sample by a factor of less than a sub-pixel. When this process is repeated, images of an unbeatably high quality will be possible.
The hardware in a smartphone cannot compete with stand-alone cameras , but it’s thought that the OIS improvements will make this possible. Smartphones have failed to make professional photography cameras with tripods obsolete because of problems with stabilisation, distortion and ghosting, but Apple’s new patent could make these issues a thing of the past, as the OIS will be able to handle the movement of cameras during photography and stabilise the final image accordingly. This could see the cameraphone market expand beyond just enthusiastic amateurs and into professional photographers.
As the iPhone 6 is forecast to contain a stabilisation chip, optimists anticipate that it will also feature this technology, with InvenSense rumoured to be supplying the OIS hardware.
If Apple really has managed to eliminate motion blur, there will undoubtedly be a lot of copycats in the industry adding similar technologies to their own devices. Of course, they will have to be wary of breaching any of Apple’s patents; the firm has not hesitated to bring patent infringement cases against its competitors.
Similar technology can be seen in the 41MP Nokia Lumia 1020 and other devices featuring the PureView system, and it may be a bit presumptuous to assume that the iPhone 6 will definitely feature an OIS system, as the patent was originally filed in 2012. However, if Apple releases an iPhone that eliminates image blur completely, it could be very successful indeed.