Apple exploring split cameras for thinner iPhones & location-based security

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Future iPhones could be thinner and even more secure thanks to technology outlined in two unique proposed inventions from Apple.

The first application was published on Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, entitled “Electronic device with two image sensors,” and details a camera comprised of two sensors: one sensor would capture the luma, or brightness, data whilst the other sensor would capture the chroma, or color, information. The final image would be created by combining the data captured by each sensor.

By splitting the camera into two parts, each module could be made thinner than a comparable camera with dual sensors embedded into the same module. This would in turn allow the device housing the camera to made thinner in response.

Additionally, Apple also says that the split design would allow for improved signal-to-noise ratio, resulting in increased image quality.  It could also help alleviate color reproduction issues caused by optical filters, and the overall assembly might be less costly.

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The second application, entitled “Electronic devices having adaptive security profiles and methods for selecting the same,” depicts a situation in which a mobile device could automatically enable or disable certain security protocols depending upon the location of said device.  For example, an iPhone could require a simple four-digit passcode while in a user’s home but insist on a fingerprint for authentication once it leaves that area.

For those looking for more security, users would be able to define several diferent profiles that apply to individual apps and types of data.SMS data could be subject to different access requirements than email data, for instance.

Users could manually configure geofenced areas, and Apple also envisions several scenarios for dynamically determining where the device is expected to be at any given time. It could analyze location information in the user’s calendar or social networks, for instance, to see if friends had checked the user in at a particular place.

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