Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple Patent Could Herald Interchangeable iPhone Camera Lenses

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the plug-and-shoot dept.

Input Devices 160

concertina226 (2447056) writes with this excerpt from IBTimes: "Apple has been granted a patent for interchangeable camera lenses — which could be used on the up-coming iPhone 6. The application was granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office in remarkably quick time, according to Patently Apple. Patent No. 8,687,299 has been granted to Apple today for 'Bayonet attachment mechanisms,' i.e. a bayonet mount that is able to securely attach lenses to an iOS device, such as an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. A bayonet mount is a fastening mechanism which is typically seen on cameras, used to attach lenses to the camera body. At the moment, there is no adjustable camera lens system in existence for smartphones, although there are lots of third party macro lens products that consumers can buy to clip onto their smartphone."

cancel ×

160 comments

how cool/innovative is that (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 4 months ago | (#46630787)

wow, you mean like the 5s

Re:how cool/innovative is that (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about 4 months ago | (#46631177)

More like the Nikon F...wait...no, looks like it goes on clockwise...like a Canon and every *other* bayonet mount in the history of photography, then.

Seriously, except for the scale, how is this novel and non-obvious?

Re:how cool/innovative is that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631391)

Because it's WITH A PHONE!!

Seriously, this is little different from the old "do mundane activity OVER THE INTERNET!!" patents.

Re:how cool/innovative is that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631493)

Because it's WITH A PHONE!!

Seriously, this is little different from the old "do mundane activity OVER THE INTERNET!!" patents.

Not quite... I read the patent, and although I couldn't exactly figure out the operation of the mechanisms involved, they're not just patenting "bayonet lens mount on a smart phone", it's clearly a modification of the classic bayonet design, including a break-away mode that's designed not to damage the bayonet mount itself (whether your phone or lens break when you drop it is another matter).

Also, the patent doesn't specifically focus on smartphones, but it refers to "electronic device", which clearly includes existing digital cameras (which would require that this patent be for something novel), but also doesn't restrict it to smartphones (so Apple can sue if anyone uses the same mechanism on some other device like tablet, netbook, PSP, whatever).

TL;DR: Apple's patenting a modified version of the classic bayonet mount that allows the lens to separate from the smartphone without breaking the bayonet mount, also the bayonet attachments can apparently recess into the smartphone body. So it may actually be a novel, patentable invention.

Re:how cool/innovative is that (1)

almitydave (2452422) | about 4 months ago | (#46631507)

(Same AC) Correction - I read most of the patent. I skimmed the detailed technical part at the end that explained the details.

Whatever happened (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 4 months ago | (#46631871)

to the good old April Fools day stories on Slashdot.

I used to look forward annually to see what would come outâ¦why did they do away with it?

:)

Seriously, one day of OMG Poniesâ¦was fun and funny.

RIP April Fools on Slashdot.

Re:how cool/innovative is that (1)

jythie (914043) | about 4 months ago | (#46632593)

Hush you! Actually reading patents might make them sound less idiotic, and you know how much complex details ruin a perfectly good rant! You have to simplify them down to a single line and then scream that *insert company that is popular to hate* is patenting the wheel again.

Re:how cool/innovative is that (1)

sosume (680416) | about 4 months ago | (#46631613)

No, it's now "With an IOS device". The phone related patent was claimed a few years back by a competitor, but clearly should not apply in Apple's case..

Re:how cool/innovative is that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631515)

That would be because it's (obviously) not for bayonet attachment mechanisms in general, but for a specific design. Go and actually read the patent before you jump on it.

Re:how cool/innovative is that (3, Informative)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 4 months ago | (#46631727)

More like the Nikon F...wait...no, looks like it goes on clockwise...like a Canon and every *other* bayonet mount in the history of photography, then. Seriously, except for the scale, how is this novel and non-obvious?

"The attachment mechanisms may release from one another in a drop event or other incidence of force applied thereto by allowing a bayonet to radially move outwardly out of contact with a corresponding bayonet of the second attachment mechanism."

Re:how cool/innovative is that (1)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#46631995)

More like the Nikon F...wait...no, looks like it goes on clockwise...like a Canon and every *other* bayonet mount in the history of photography, then.

  Seriously, except for the scale, how is this novel and non-obvious?

It's wasn't novel and non-obvious when it was first used for cameras, which is sort of obvious from the "bayonet" part of bayonet mount.

Sadly, with the current patent office, April fools jokes are indistinguishable from reality.

Re:how cool/innovative is that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46632357)

Yeah, just like those. Which all of those companies ALSO PATENTED THEIR OWN IMPLEMENTATIONS OF.

Seriously, did you even look at it? This is a patent on a specific implementation of the generic concept of a bayonet connection.

Bayonets? (3, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 4 months ago | (#46630799)

When apple wins a patent for "bayonet attachment mechanisms", why would you assume it would be used for camera lenses?

Re:Bayonets? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46630861)

That's right! Maybe they're going to start offering phones with interchangeable bayonets.

Re:Bayonets? (4, Funny)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | about 4 months ago | (#46631049)

and its part of their new plan to kill the competition

Re:Bayonets? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 4 months ago | (#46631077)

That's right! Maybe they're going to start offering phones with interchangeable bayonets.

"You haven't upgraded to the latest model in three product cycles, your blood will now be drawn."

Re:Bayonets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631211)

...and Cuomo will ban these "assault cameras". For the children, you see. The white ones, anyway.

Re:Bayonets? (2)

Guspaz (556486) | about 4 months ago | (#46630899)

Maybe because they RTFA'd, and noted the drawings of camera lenses attaching to smartphone cameras in the patent?

Re:Bayonets? (3, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 4 months ago | (#46630955)

Yes, it seems more likely the iPhone 6 will finally support 10BASE2.

Re:Bayonets? (1, Troll)

geekmux (1040042) | about 4 months ago | (#46631093)

When apple wins a patent for "bayonet attachment mechanisms", why would you assume it would be used for camera lenses?

Uh, more to the point, when Apple wins a patent, why would you assume it was ever something we asked for or needed in a cell phone?

1080p HD recording, multi-camera/lens capability, and 4G speeds rivaling landline speeds. I don't even know why the hell we even call them phones anymore. Today's cellular device is anything but, and 90% of those features we never asked for, but they sure do generate a shitload of privacy-robbing revenue don't they...

Re:Bayonets? (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 4 months ago | (#46631831)

When apple wins a patent for "bayonet attachment mechanisms", why would you assume it would be used for camera lenses?

Uh, more to the point, when Apple wins a patent, why would you assume it was ever something we asked for or needed in a cell phone?

So you complain that Apple does something so nobody but them can put something you would never want on any phone you would ever want? Why?

Re:Bayonets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631889)

When apple wins a patent for "bayonet attachment mechanisms", why would you assume it would be used for camera lenses?

Uh, more to the point, when Apple wins a patent, why would you assume it was ever something we asked for or needed in a cell phone?

So you complain that Apple does something so nobody but them can put something you would never want on any phone you would ever want? Why?

For the very reason we're having this conversation. Or more to the point, so we can avoid having this conversation in the future.

Marketing useless features and wasting millions on pointless patents (round corners anyone?) does nothing but clog up the entire system, and shines a questionable light on any patent and the system that protects it, no matter how valid or worthwhile.

Re:Bayonets? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 4 months ago | (#46631175)

When apple wins a patent for "bayonet attachment mechanisms", why would you assume it would be used for camera lenses?

Let's see... The claims sections of the patent in question describes the use of bayonet connections for lenses. The description section of the patent describes the use of bayonet connections for lenses. The drawings section of the patent shows a phone and lenses and the details of a lens connections...

Nope, no reason at all to assume it would be used for lenses.

(Seriously, how did this dreck get modded up?)

Re:Bayonets? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631503)

Because it's anti-Apple? That's all it takes around here anymore. Apple was the darling of Slashdot when it was all MS vs Apple. Now that Google has built a mobile OS built on Linux and Apple is in the same arena with their offerings Apple is the enemy.
 
In a couple of years something else will change and there will be a new target of endless venom spewing for the little fanboys who depend more on what they own than what they can do for their value of self-worth.

Re:Bayonets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631703)

Whoosh! That's the sound of the joke going right over your head :-)

Re:Bayonets? (1)

Zmobie (2478450) | about 4 months ago | (#46631903)

It is called a sense of humor? Maybe you should try finding your's again...

Re:Bayonets? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 4 months ago | (#46632711)

Humor is supposed to be funny, you seem to have missed that part.

Re:Bayonets? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#46631629)

Now Apple has invented the Camera to? Holy crap. Cannon's screwed!

Stop It (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46630803)

Seriously, stop it. Apple is a massive company and files patents for literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of things. JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER MAJOR MANUFACTURER. Microsoft does it. Sony. Samsung. Google. Intel. Take your pick and they patent everything they develop.

IT IS NOT NEWS.

It is business as usual when any of these companies files a patent for any invention. It might hint at future plans, sure, but this, like the vast majority of patents they file for, will probably sit in a filing cabinet, discarded and unused. The patented it because they feel they came up with a solution to a R&D issue but they may elect, for one of a thousand reasons, to not implement it.

JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER MAJOR MANUFACTURER.

Look, I'm an unabashed Apple fanboy but THIS IS NOT NEWS.

This is business as usual.

Bayonet lenses are nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46630811)

I'm an Apple shareholder but not a patent lawyer. Bayonet lenses are nothing new. I don't understand why USPTO would grant a patent for something I've been using since the 70s.

Can anyone shed some light on that?

Re:Bayonet lenses are nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46630869)

You mean specifically in this case, or in general?

Generally, if someone invents an improvement on an old invention, that can be patented.

Specifically, perhaps the form factor has something to do with it, and it appears to retract into the body of the phone somewhat.

All easily gleaned from a basic understanding of the patent system and a skimming of TFA.

Re:Bayonet lenses are nothing new (2)

PIBM (588930) | about 4 months ago | (#46630939)

The bayonet mount of my camera does not need to protude out of it. And neither did it, but having it protuding out of the body is certainly not an improvement, nor really innovative :)

Re:Bayonet lenses are nothing new (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#46630965)

because they just patent the apple attacher - and then just sue anyone doing the same with a smartphone.

also, the summary is incorrectly worded, because there have been many(more than 3) smartphones with moving zoom optics in the past decade(samsung has a model now that is basically an android phone bolted to a moderately sized pocket camera.).

Re:Bayonet lenses are nothing new (1, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#46631011)

I'm guessing "for a smartphone" is the new part, just like new patents based on old ideas are approved when you add "on the Internet" to it.

Re:Bayonet lenses are nothing new (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | about 4 months ago | (#46631071)

Hell, i've got a shelf full of bayonet lenses for my film making endeavors.. Seriously, just because you make the phone come with a built-in mount, I'm not so sure that's patentable. We've been asking for that kind of crap for awhile now for those of us interested in shooting film (errrrrm... video) on cellphones (nokie n8 and 1020, for example). I mean, good on you, Apple, release it! But a patent?

Re:Bayonet lenses are nothing new (3, Interesting)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 4 months ago | (#46631483)

I think the patent is for lens mount that decouples itself in the event that the phone is dropped-- potentially reducing the damage to the phone and lens.

Re:Bayonet lenses are nothing new (1)

sessamoid (165542) | about 4 months ago | (#46631853)

There should be a mod "+1 Actually read the f'ing patent". Thank you.

Bayonet Lug (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46630823)

Perfect for trench warfare!

Re:Bayonet Lug (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 4 months ago | (#46631135)

Perfect for trench warfare!

Without the risks of Trench Foot!

Re:Bayonet Lug (1)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about 4 months ago | (#46632053)

Bring on the grenades with rounded corners.

"Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Holy Jesus! What is that? What the fuck is that? WHAT IS THAT, PRIVATE PYLE?
Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, an Android smartphone, sir!
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: An Android smartphone?
Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, yes, sir!
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: How did it get here?
Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, I took it from the mess hall, sir!"

bayonet mount- on a computer (1)

pefisher (774697) | about 4 months ago | (#46630835)

No prior art here. A completely unique idea. I hand it to Apple for inventing the bayonet mount- on a computer.

Re:bayonet mount- on a computer (4, Interesting)

maz2331 (1104901) | about 4 months ago | (#46630927)

This is an interesting variation of the camera lens bayonet mount that includes a "breakaway mode" if it is dropped that allows the lens to snap out without damaging the device or the mount. With a normal DSLR lens mount, that doesn't happen and the lens will remain firmly attached until one of the mounts breaks, whereas this one will release instead of breaking.

Re:bayonet mount- on a computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631101)

Not exactly. I kicked over a fairly expensive high speed (1000fps) camera at a customer's site once and the lens managed to pop off without damaging anything.... Whew!

Re:bayonet mount- on a computer (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 4 months ago | (#46632015)

yes! but did you patent the findings

Re:bayonet mount- on a computer (1)

pefisher (774697) | about 4 months ago | (#46631133)

Darn it. That is interesting.

Re:bayonet mount- on a computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631161)

I'll believe the "without damaging" part when I see it. "Oh hey don't that you dropped your phone, the camera is still good just you can't read anything on the screen because the digitizer is broke"

They'd be better off having either a:
* Easily replaceable digitizer
* Use a type of unbreakable glass for the digitizer (at least less breakable than the existing)
* Improve upon on the plastic digitizers and use clear plastic for the digitizer instead of glass

I say these things because I can not tell you of the number of cracked digitizers I have experienced since the newer smart phone era started

Re:bayonet mount- on a computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631313)

My Nikon cameras have a breakaway mount - it's called a lens.

Re:bayonet mount- on a computer (2)

burning_plastic (164918) | about 4 months ago | (#46631149)

Each different type of bayonet mount will be patented - eg. Nikon F mount, Pentax K mount, Canon EF mount. Apple patenting a set of specifications for a mount is a perfectly understandable concept - they're not trying to patent a completely generic mount...

Neither Innovative, nor Unique (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46630839)

Since when does taking a common connection technique (twist lock) make it patent worthy?

Re:Neither Innovative, nor Unique (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46632169)

Maybe because everyone else that has ever done this also patented it for their specific version?

Examples:
Nikon F mount: https://www.google.com/patents... [google.com]
Pentax K mount: http://www.google.com/patents/... [google.com]

Oh, but EVIL APPLE OMG!!! The hypocrisy around here is astounding.

Should not be (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46630847)

And there, right in the summary we have:

At the moment, there is no adjustable camera lens system in existence for smartphones, although there are lots of third party macro lens products that consumers can buy to clip onto their smartphone."

The need have been shown by third party, the next natural step is to integrate it.
There is no reason for this patent to be granted. Hopefully it is a joke but sadly enough it as obvious as it should be.

Re:Should not be (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46630889)

There should be an isn't in there somewhere.

Re:Should not be (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 4 months ago | (#46632577)

And there, right in the summary we have:

At the moment, there is no adjustable camera lens system in existence for smartphones, although there are lots of third party macro lens products that consumers can buy to clip onto their smartphone."

The need have been shown by third party, the next natural step is to integrate it. There is no reason for this patent to be granted. Hopefully it is a joke but sadly enough it as obvious as it should be.

Okay, from all the silly things said in this discussion, this sure is in the top three - "because there are third party products, doing it different than any of them is totally obvious."

Apple likes patents for round corners (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 4 months ago | (#46630857)

Lenses seem like a natural progression.

who cares (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46630875)

subject ^^

technology heralds things (1)

zugedneb (601299) | about 4 months ago | (#46630897)

not patents.
I wish that we, who should know better took a little more care with the language, yes?

But its a thing on actual cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46630937)

I dont understand how this could be patented if it is already a thing, just on a different piece of hardware. "A bayonet mount is a fastening mechanism which is typically seen on cameras." So it already exists...

Re:But its a thing on actual cameras (1)

jc42 (318812) | about 4 months ago | (#46631031)

I dont understand how this could be patented if it is already a thing, just on a different piece of hardware.

It's because it includes the phrase "on a computer".

You see, in addition to their computational uses, computers also have a "human memory erasure" capability. When you bring a computer near humans working with any old technology, all memory of that technology is erased, and the humans have to learn about its use from scratch.

This is a well-known phenomenon in the field of patent law, and is a major source of income for patent lawyers. And for the companies that manufacture the old technology, which becomes patentable when in proximity to a computer.

Re:But its a thing on actual cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46632191)

God damn, you don't think that a specific implementation might be patented in the presented documentation, do you?

Nope, I'm sure they're retro-patenting all the way back to the WW2 motorola radios that people stormed the beaches of Normandy with. Well, at least according to Slashdot, they're trying to.

Fucking ignorant assholes around here.

Assault Phones (2, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#46630957)

Patent No. 8,687,299 has been granted to Apple today for 'Bayonet attachment mechanisms,' i.e. a bayonet mount that is able to securely attach lenses to an iOS device, such as an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

Great.

Stick a black synthetic stock and a large capacity SD card on that bad boy, and Diane Feinstein will demand it be banned.

Re:Assault Phones (1)

andydread (758754) | about 4 months ago | (#46632129)

It may be illegail if you put a quad-rail system with a forward grip on it.

Or use a real camera (0)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 4 months ago | (#46630989)

You're still stuck with the shitty sensor and tiny lens on the camera itself, regardless of what hipster filter you stick on it.

Re:Or use a real camera (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about 4 months ago | (#46631293)

A bizarre comment, since the whole point is NOT to be stuck with the tiny lens. As for the shitty sensor, like it or not but smartphones get the newest and best sensor technology first because that is the mass market, for example the iPhone 4 was one of the first consumer products with a backside illumination sensor. The old conventional wisdom was that "physics is physics" so nothing mattered by sensor size; that has been disproven.

Re:Or use a real camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631735)

for example the iPhone 4 was one of the first consumer products with a backside illumination sensor.

Is that like Beats Audio? Backside Illumination, by Sir-Mix-A-Lot.

Re:Or use a real camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631797)

A shitty BSI 1/2.3" sensor is still a shitty 1/2.3" sensor.

I have an Sony RX100M2 with a 1" sensor that blows the 5s quality out of the water - especially in low-light situations (you can read text vs the 5S being just a blurry mess of noise).

Comparing the RX100 with the RX100M2 (the first gen didn't have BSI and the second did) shows that it only provides a 1-stop improvement in lighting requirements (and that's assuming you had a 1" sensor surface area to begin with). It's better, but say "newest and best" would be misleading at best. Remember that saying something is "twice as good" just means moving from F2.0 to F2.2 (ish)

Until they improve the technology significantly, adding these small improvements isn't going to make too much difference.

Hell, most people view them on a 4" screen and don't even notice the difference between a massively noisy picture and not. Who cares? LOL

It's not just about the latest technology (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 4 months ago | (#46631803)


It is true that sensors in top of the line phones get the latest technology. However, they also get low budget versions of that technology and they *are* tiny compared to full frame and medium format cameras.

One of the reasons people still use those bigger sensors is that the quality of the lens system used is less critical to prevent distortion if your sensor is bigger. If you use a 4*3 meter sensor (your wall) you can get amazing pictures with just a tiny hole in the curtains, you can do away with a lens completely. This scales up and down, so the more area, the better the image quality given the same quality of lens.
Also you can get a much better control over depth of field with larger sensors. If you have a larger aperture you get a more shallow depth of field, giving you the option to blur the back and foreground. Aperture sizes larger than your sensor aren't effective any more, so tiny sensors can only go so far when it comes to shallow DOF.
Lastly the "compression" of your subject (how big their nose is if you get closer to their face to fill the frame) gives more natural looks if you use bigger sensors. The same sort of physics apply here. Bigger sensors equal bigger focal lengths of the lenses to get the entire sensor exposed properly with the same composition. That means that you get less of a fish eye effect and people in general look more pleasing when photographed with a bigger sensor style camera.

Apart from all these reasons, I despise smart phone cameras because they aren't instant ready and I haven't found one phone+app that will let me control things like focus points, ISO sensitivity, white balance and such. Maybe they are out there, but they must be in telephones that cost way more than a much better dedicated camera so I have never looked at them. Horrible ergonomics make even the best sensor and lens totally useless for anything but casual snap shots. Given the same price, I'd rather have a decent camera with an older generation sensor and lens than the latest smart phone with a horrible user interface and the typical 300+ ms lag between grabbing the device and being able to take a picture.

Re:Or use a real camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631375)

You're still stuck with the shitty sensor and tiny lens on the camera itself, regardless of what hipster filter you stick on it.

But, my phone has the most megapixels! [xkcd.com]

Re:Or use a real camera (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 4 months ago | (#46631939)

You're still stuck with the shitty sensor and tiny lens on the camera itself, regardless of what hipster filter you stick on it.

So? There are numerous photographers doing amazing work with "shitty sensors and tiny lenses". An iPhone camera is every bit as much a real camera as the latest four figure offering from Canon or Nikon. A camera is only a sensor or surface for collecting light combined with something to focus the light onto that sensor or surface after all.
 
Only a fool, a poseur, or a computer nerd thinks that you absolutely must have the best top end gear to do worthwhile work.

FFS, please never post a story like this again (3, Interesting)

sootman (158191) | about 4 months ago | (#46630991)

Why? Because patents don't necessarily mean ANYTHING. Here's one from a DOZEN YEARS AGO [slashdot.org] about an Apple patent on color-changing cases. Still waiting for those...

Re:FFS, please never post a story like this again (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#46631189)

Shhhh! Tiedye hypercolor shirts are MY thing. No one remembers them so everyone thinks I'm magic.

Re:FFS, please never post a story like this again (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 4 months ago | (#46631619)

It's something that has existed for years and that is extremely obvious, yet somehow they were granted a patent on it because "on a smartphone".

Re:FFS, please never post a story like this again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631917)

It's something that has existed for years and that is extremely obvious, yet somehow they were granted a patent on it because "on a smartphone".

They were granted a patent because the patent system is fucked.

Let's not mince words here and blame the application. The fact that the paper application wasn't laughed into the garbage can is the real problem here.

You've got to be joking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46630993)

Like they have been doing on regular cameras forever? I can't believe they got a patent granted for this. Prior art = Leica M3 with a bayonet was released in 1954, and followed by pretty well every camera manufacturer since.

Re:You've got to be joking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46632233)

Well while you're blasting Apple for this, be sure to also blast Nikon, Pentax, Canon, Sony, and any other DSLR manufacturer that also patented their bayonet lens mounts in the last 60 years.

Because they all have.

But I guess because they aren't Apple, they don't get the disproportionate anger. This whole story is a fucking troll.

Prior Art (1)

goathumper (1284632) | about 4 months ago | (#46631083)

Would the concept modular phone that was floating around some months ago constitute prior art? I remember it had just such a concept. It should at least be proof of non-originality (not that this would really matter legally speaking, unless it's actual prior art). How would this be affected by the recent patent changes where it's now "first to file" vs. "first to describe"?

in other news (4, Interesting)

lophophore (4087) | about 4 months ago | (#46631089)

Apple receives patent #999666 for "power adaptor allows handheld device to be charged from AC mains" and patent #666999 for "Handheld device User-interface buttons".

I hope this is an April Fools joke. How long have cameras had a bayonet lens mount?

Re:in other news (3, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 4 months ago | (#46631373)

I hope this is an April Fools joke. How long have cameras had a bayonet lens mount?

"Bayonet mount" is a generic term, kind of like "screw" - I.E. just as there are a wide variety of screws and heads, specific mounts can and do vary wildly from each other.
 
Different specific mounts have different features and performance. For example, the bayonet mounts used for light bulbs aren't suitable for lenses because their depth would make a camera unwieldy, complicate optical design, and wear quickly because of the weight of the lens on the relatively small pins. Hence, lens mounts use typically tabs rather than pins. Light bulb mounts also suck at maintaining close and rigid alignment - something a lens mount absolutely must have. Lens mounts also use different retention features than a light bulb mount to facilitate quick changes and reduce the relative force required.

Re:in other news (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about 4 months ago | (#46631499)

I hope this is an April Fools joke. How long have cameras had a bayonet lens mount?

"Bayonet mount" is a generic term, kind of like "screw" - I.E. just as there are a wide variety of screws and heads, specific mounts can and do vary wildly from each other. Different specific mounts have different features and performance. For example, the bayonet mounts used for light bulbs aren't suitable for lenses because their depth would make a camera unwieldy, complicate optical design, and wear quickly because of the weight of the lens on the relatively small pins. Hence, lens mounts use typically tabs rather than pins. Light bulb mounts also suck at maintaining close and rigid alignment - something a lens mount absolutely must have. Lens mounts also use different retention features than a light bulb mount to facilitate quick changes and reduce the relative force required.

Wait, you're spreading actual information? But how can the trolls all yell, "Derp! Rounded corners! On a smartphone!"

Re:in other news (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 4 months ago | (#46632641)

The April Fool is you.

Prior Art (2)

technical_maven (2756487) | about 4 months ago | (#46631095)

I'm sorry but this has existed in one form or other on hundreds of different cameras for many decades! Simply adding one more camera to the list (iPhone) does not make it a new and patentable device! Clearly this is prior art and the patent should have been rejected by the patent office.

Re:Prior Art (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 4 months ago | (#46631113)

But but... it's "on a mobile device"... That makes it totally different!

Re:Prior Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631417)

And how many patents does Canon, Nikon, et al. have on their connections?

Seriously people... Because Apple Patents something that's similar to what's been patented before, it's almost as if you think Patents are Strictly for ideas.. Theirs is OBVIOUSLY going to be much smaller than Canon's patented EF mount , or Nikon's F Mount Patent. Both own patents for their own lens bayonet connections... Thats why there's no standard lens or lens interoperability between Nikon and Canon) There are already competing patents. This patent isn't on the idea of a bayonet lens mount, but rather the mechanical composition required to connect to it. This allows Apple to collect licensing fees from lens manufacturers, as well as ensure quality products are made to interoperate with them. Instead of having cheap junky lenses flooding the marketplace. Guess why Canon and Nikon patented theirs as well? Hmm...

OH SORRY, I forgot where I was for a moment, Apple patents are evil... every other company's patents are fine, just heaven forbid Apple do the same thing.

Re:Prior Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46632111)

I'm sorry but this has existed in one form or other on hundreds of different cameras for many decades! Simply adding one more camera to the list (iPhone) does not make it a new and patentable device! Clearly this is prior art and the patent should have been rejected by the patent office.

By "one form or another" you're talking about a bunch of different variations that were each patented at some point in time. This is the point of the patent system, buy a license, make something else, or do nothing and wait for it to expire.

Does this qualify as prior art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631349)

https://www.dx.com/p/4-in-1-10x-telescope-fisheye-macro-wide-angle-lens-set-for-samsung-galaxy-s3-i9300-black-306950

Sure looks like a bayonette connector integrated into a case to me :)

is it the functionally compatable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46632013)

no? then no it's not prior art...

they're not patenting the idea of bayonet connectors, they're patenting *A* Bayonet connector... just as Canon Patented the EOS mount, Nikon patented the F mount...

Petty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631353)

Petty drivel, then that's why they're still stuck on this earth.

Fuck Apple (0)

AndyKron (937105) | about 4 months ago | (#46631365)

I can't wait until Apple patents life, and all the technology that springs from it. Fuck Apple.

Re:Fuck Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46632267)

I can't wait until you actually learn what the fuck you are talking about, or at least read and comprehend an article.

OMG APPLE DID SOMETHING!!! FUCK APPLE!

Never mind that they are detailing a very specific lens mount, with a very specific feature set. You know, just like every other camera manufacturer that has had a detachable lens system in the last 60 years.

Get a fucking clue.

Title is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631411)

What is this bullshit title, whenever has a patent ever brought innovation? Never.

The title should be changed to "Apple patent could prevent any interchangeable camera lenses on phones."

Odd in that a bayonet seems pointless (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#46631479)

I don't know why Apple would ever add a bayonet mount to a camera, it really messes with the smooth look they go for and makes for something really easy to break on a camera. Also anything recessed on a camera is going to get really dirty, and be very hard to clean - so this would mess with the camera for most people who never wanted to attach other lenses.

Instead I would expect them to do something like a magnetic mount - they could easily place a steel ring around the lens opening, even just under the surface, that lenses could clamp onto via magnets. External lenses don't need to be mounted in any particular orientation, just straight over the camera lens...

Also why is the story talking about adjustable lenses? That's not what the patent is about. It's only about the mount. Its not like I cannot already buy an iPhone case that has such a mount and attach lenses as it is.

Re:Odd in that a bayonet seems pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631849)

Magnetic mounts for lenses is a really insanely stupid idea.

MagFilter has a magnetic retention system for filters (just a thin piece of glass with a plastic rim). While it makes them slightly hard to pull off directly, you can slide them apart fairly easily. (Try it yourself: get two magnets and pry them apart... then try to slide them apart.) Adding a 100-250g lens that protrudes out 2-3 inches (for more torque, or sideways motion)? You're just asking for trouble.

In other words, if someone ever bumps a magnetic lens, it's coming off and crashing to the floor. If you accidentally brush it against your leg, it's coming off and crashing to the floor. If there's a strong breeze, there's a good chance it's coming off.

Re:Odd in that a bayonet seems pointless (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631953)

If you had a minor recession around where the magnet was on the phone such that the lens could fit into it, it would help that slight jostle issue.

Re:Odd in that a bayonet seems pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46632021)

a neodymium magnet system might help, though then that would be too strong and your lenses would be stuck together.

Re:Odd in that a bayonet seems pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46632077)

Accessory lenses for a smartphone camera would be more like 10-25g and protrude 2/3 of an inch at most. The first thing I thought of when I saw "breakaway lens" was extending the idea of Apple's MagSafe power jack.

Re:Odd in that a bayonet seems pointless (1)

swb (14022) | about 4 months ago | (#46632163)

If you make a recessed lip for it to mount to, it can't slide.

A lens with a lot of protrusion may torque off, but I think at a certain point you need to reign in your expectations of what kind of lens makes sense to attach to a smart phone regardless of mount.

ANY attachment system that results in a substantial protrusion runs the risk of being broken off, at least with a magnetic mount you don't destroy the phone or mount when the lens gets ripped off.

The iPhone 5s itself weighs 112g, I can't see mounting a lens that weighs as much as the phone itself or more to a phone. Or if you did, what kind of expectation would you have of it being something you could toss around as casually as a smartphone?

Re:Odd in that a bayonet seems pointless (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 4 months ago | (#46632803)

I don't know why Apple would ever add a bayonet mount to a camera, it really messes with the smooth look they go for and makes for something really easy to break on a camera. Also anything recessed on a camera is going to get really dirty, and be very hard to clean - so this would mess with the camera for most people who never wanted to attach other lenses.

I'm guessing you don't actually own an iPhone and have never actually handled one - they're anything but smooth overall. In particular, there's already protrusions which haven't been easily broken and there's already recesses which haven't shown any propensity to get really dirty.

Instead I would expect them to do something like a magnetic mount - they could easily place a steel ring around the lens opening, even just under the surface, that lenses could clamp onto via magnets. External lenses don't need to be mounted in any particular orientation, just straight over the camera lens...

It's the "straight over" part that's the bitch - because it has to be almost exactly dead over for the attached lens to work. If it's not, your image will be crap. Magnets won't work, they don't provide accurate enough alignment.

Seriously, most of the responses to this article have been nothing but monuments to pure cluelessness.

At some point, it's easier to carry a DSLR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46631677)

Do key-ring sized, easily lost add on lenses covered in pocket lint secure a need here? The point of a camera phone is to have an all-in-one unit that does a good enough job. Beyond that, well established mature solutions exist: compact cameras and DSLRs. These have been around a long time and perfected.

hell, use the Pentax/Contax screw mount (1)

swschrad (312009) | about 4 months ago | (#46632039)

patents have expired, and there are millions of lenses out there.

You know Apple has moved over to the dark side : (3, Insightful)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 4 months ago | (#46632065)

when you can't tell whether an Apple patent story is serious or an April Fools joke.

Yup. This is /., alright. (2)

mmell (832646) | about 4 months ago | (#46632139)

Hundreds of (presumably) intelligent people all passing on an opportunity to prove that they can read. *Sigh*

Apple's patent was pretty specific - and probably intended to prevent third-party manufacturers from making attachable lenses for iJunk without cutting Apple in for a slice of the pie. If somebody were to devise a (similar but different) mechanism for a non-Apple smartphone, it would almost certainly differ sufficiently from Apple's mechanism to be allowed (but only after Apple attempted to sue and get an injunction, of course). Again - *Sigh*.

Let's also remember one other point - All the iPhones in existence were made by Apple, to the best of my knowledge. There are many manufacturers of Android devices. Apple may well be able to standardize their bayonet mount (their bat, their ball, their rules), but within the Android ecosystem such an item would require cooperation and buy-in from a majority of Android device manufacturers. Ever seen a horse designed by a committee? We call it a 'camel'.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...