Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,048,147) for a “camera focus and stabilization system.” It involves the ever-improving cameras in iPhones and iPads.
Background of the patent
In the patent data, Apple notes that the advent of small, mobile multipurpose devices such as smartphones and tablet or pad devices has resulted in a need for high-resolution, small form factor cameras. Some small form factor cameras may incorporate optical image stabilization (OIS) mechanisms that may sense and react to external excitation/disturbance forces. They do this by adjusting a location of one or more optical lenses in one or more directions in an attempt to compensate for unwanted motion of the lenses.
Also, some small form factor cameras may incorporate an autofocus (AF) mechanism. This allows an object focal distance to be adjusted to focus an object plane in front of the camera at an image plane to be captured by an image.
Summary of the patent
Here’s the summary of the patent: “Various embodiments include a camera with a voice coil motor (VCM) actuator assembly to provide autofocus (AF) and/or optical image stabilization (OIS) movement. The VCM actuator assembly is configured to move an image sensor of the camera in three dimensions (e.g. X, Y, and Z) to provide the AF and/or OIS movements. The VCM actuator assembly is asymmetrical and includes an at least partially open side that allows an optical assembly of the camera to pass through the open side of the VCM actuator. In some embodiments, the optical assembly is part of a folded optics arrangement of the camera that includes one or more prisms/and or lenses.”