Patent was filed in 2012 and granted this week
Apple was granted a new patent recently that covers a way that the smartphone maker could integrate removable lenses into the iPhone and other gadgets reports Apple Insider. The patent shows a system that hides the bayonet mount inside the smartphone casing so it looks good without a lens and the lens can still be easily and quickly connected.
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The patent was granted by the USPTO and is US Patent No 8,687, 299 titled "Bayonet attachment mechanisms." The mount is mostly hidden inside the rear facing camera bezel and the lens would be aligned with a guide dot and rotated for attachment.
The patent also shows how the lens would detach itself from the smartphone or tablet if dropped. The goal is to keep the lens bulk form damaging the smartphone and vice versa. Just because Apple was granted a patent on the interchangeable lens tech, doesn't mean that the tech will be used.
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Apple gets patents all the time that it never uses. However, this would be a great way to improve the quality of pictures that the iPhone is able to take. Rather than dealing with a tiny image of a person from far away, you could take a close-up lens and attach it to the camera easily. The patent app was field in 2012 and lists Emery A. Sanford and Dominic C. Toselli as the inventors of the mount. It would be great if this tech landed with the iPhone 6 that has been heavily rumored.