Feeds

Does Apple patent claim show iPad with built-in camera?

Cupertino drops heavy clues

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A strong hint that Apple will indeed include a camera in subsequent versions of the super-hyped iPad was revealed in an “image capturing device” patent application submitted by the company late last month, The Register has learned.

USPTO patent application 20100020222 strongly alludes to the inclusion of a camera - not just in its popular iPhone - but also in a device “such as a laptop, tablet, or handheld computer.”

The patent claim - ‘Image Capturing Device with Touch Screen for Adjusting Camera Settings’ - was submitted by Jeremy Jones, Nikhil Bhogal and Ralph Brunner on behalf of Cupertino-based Apple on 5 June last year and published on 28 January 2010.

It details how the firm’s “portable, handheld” devices operate a built-in camera.

Diagrams accompanying Apple’s US patent application mainly show drawings of the iPhone as an example of the methods used to manage camera settings in the Jobsian gizmo.

Apple drops iPad camera clues

Apple example of a 'portable handheld multifunction device' in which the invention could be implemented

Indeed, the claim makes no mention of the iPad by name. However, several times Apple reiterates that the invention “embodies” what it describes as “generally related to image capturing electronic devices, having a touch sensitive screen for controlling camera functions and settings.”

In other words that scope extends beyond the iPhone and applies to Apple’s range of portable devices, which now of course includes the puffed up but not yet tested iPad.

Furthermore, Apple added the following belts and braces disclaimer to its patent claim:

“The invention is not limited to the specific embodiments described above. There are numerous other variations to different aspects of the invention described above, which in the interest of conciseness have not been provided in detail. Accordingly, other embodiments are within the scope of the claims.”

At launch, many grumbled that Apple’s latest webby toy lacked a built-in camera.

That may look set to change with future editions of the iPad, that is if we’ve correctly interpreted the semantics in Apple’s patent claim.

Meanwhile, clues that the iPad will indeed, one day, come loaded with a camera surfaced earlier this week when Mission:Repair blog claimed it had been shipped some parts used to repair the device.

They received a metal internal iPad frame with what appeared to be a “spot” for a camera, which, when tested with a standard camera unit taken from a Unibody MacBook, it slotted neatly into the gap.

“The camera slips in the frame, the lens fits in the hole, the LED that indicates that the camera is on, fits, and the ambient light sensor hole is also correct. It appears that the plans to have camera in the iPad is a reality,” said the Apple repair shop.

Apple for its part is remaining characteristically quiet. El Reg asked the firm if it was in the process of building a camera into subsequent versions of the iPad, the first generation of which will hit US retail in March this year.

“I'm afraid we don’t comment on rumour or speculation,” said a company spokeswoman. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD TO DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.