Apple’s forthcoming iPhone 11 could feature an underwater camera mode, with a newly filed patent showing the California company is already working on such plans.
The patent, called Submersible Electronic Devices With Imaging Capabilities, was published by the United States Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) earlier this week.
It details how a future iPhone could take pictures when submerged in water. This would include automatic detection that a picture was being taken when the device is underwater.
Apple says its new mode would have the ability to assess the water’s depth, check ambient light, work out how murky the water and even calculate the distance of the subject from the camera.
The iPhone XS can be submerged in water of up to two metres for around half an hour. However, its waterproof rating relates to how long it can withstand extreme conditions, not whether it can handle complex tasks when placed underwater.
A new underwater camera mode would likely take advantage of the iPhone 11’s long–rumoured triple lens camera.
Analysts have claimed that Apple is planning on including at least one lens that can process so–called time–of–flight information, assessing when light bounces off of a subject and back to a camera. How this would work beneath the surface remains to be seen, but it could be a core part of Apple’s updated iPhone package and give it a boost against rivals such as Samsung’s Galaxy S10.
The iPhone 11 is not due for release until September, but is already the subject of intense speculation. As well as a triple lens setup, word is the handset will come with a bigger battery and better Wi–Fi capabilities. The design is expected to stay broadly the same as the current iPhone XS, with a larger Max model also being planned.