Apple may introduce Deeper iPhone Photo Depth Controls on Future iPhones – Patently Apple


Today, Apple provides users with a variety of depth controls on their iPhone photos such as changing lighting effects, controlling the level of the Bokeh effect, adding text etc. In the future, according to a new Apple patent published by the US Patent & Trademark Office today, Apple will be advancing ‘Depth Controls” that will allow users to edit photos by adding different kinds of text, and more importantly, angle the text perfectly into a scene based on depth data.


It also appears that Apple may be advancing lighting options so as to better control shadows based on depth controls. Users may be able to place an icon of the sun on a photo that’s controlled by your finger that could create perfect natural shadowing. In-part our cover graphic from the patent illustrates that feature.


As shown in patent FIG. 9B below, Apple notes that in response to detecting finger input, a graphical object #910 (e.g., text) is inserted into the image (#906) at a depth corresponding to the depth range of the input. Elements in the image  with a shallower depth (e.g., foreground element #908a) than the depth range of the input are displayed in front of the inserted graphical object while elements in the image (#906) with a deeper depth (e.g., background element #908b) than the depth range of the input are displayed behind the inserted graphical object (#910 Text). In this way, graphical object/text appears to be an element present within the captured scene of the image.


In Figure 9C we’re able to see that the user will be able to skew the text in the image.


2 x final - - depth editing


Apple’s patent figures 9E and 9F illustrate the user being able to control the depth and angle of shadows in a photo.


Apple notes that “A position of the simulated light source is indicated by light icon 914. In some embodiments, the size of light icon 914 further indicates the intensity (e.g., brightness) of the simulated light source.”


In some embodiments, an intensity of the simulated light source (e.g., brightness) is changed based on the characteristic intensity of the user’s finger input.


Some of the patent covers depth and lighting controls already available while other features like angling text based on depth information is new.  


Apple’s patent application that was published today by the U.S. Patent Office was filed back in Q3 2029. There’s a lot of detail to this invention and you could check it all out here. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.


10.51FX - Patent Application Bar


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