Apple awarded patent for action camera device


Apple was awarded a patent yesterday related to the action cam market, which suggest that the U.S. electronics giant might seek to compete head-to-head with companies like GoPro.


Apple has long been renowned for the quality of its cameras on the iPhone, and with the “action cam” market exploding in popularity, this could be an interesting area for Apple to look at. However, just because the company has been awarded a patent doesn’t necessarily mean that they will create a product (and Apple is awarded dozens of patents every week which never see the light of day), but Apple has been interested in cameras before, so there’s a fair chance that the invention might eventually see the light of day.

Apple camera: head to head with GoPro?

The patent describes some of the deficiencies of devices such as GoPro, specifically mentioning difficulties in mounting to bike helmets and surfboards. However, GoPro already sells dozens of accessories which are aimed squarely at those markets, such as suction cups, helmet mounts, and chest harnesses. I even have a GoPro generation two with a couple of accessories for those very purposes, and I have to admit, it’s it’s a great camera.

Apple camera - GoPro Hero 4

The patent also mentions that an iPhone might be used under water to take pictures and record sounds, but the patent as describes simply gives Apple the ability to create a device which includes an image capture module and a remote control. There’s not much to be honest which suggests it will upheave the action camera market.

Nevertheless, the images described in the patent are very interesting, with lots of descriptions of the features and design, all of which look like the device, if it’s ever released, would be suitable for anyone wishing to use it for sport and outdoor activities…

Apple camera - patent image

The patent was actually filed in 2012, and references existing patents that were bought from Kodak several years ago. Apple isn’t yet known for its credentials in the action cam market, but of course the iPhone is one of the most popular smartphone cameras in the world, so it might just be a case of exploring other opportunities to make use of the expertise it’s already built up.

Here’s one of the popular iPhone camera add-ons, the Olloclip for iPhone:

Apple Camera - Olloclip

The patent can be found on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website here.

Let us know in the comments whether you already have some kind of action cam, and if you use it in Thailand. Is it any good? Do you think Apple could revolutionise the market again?


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