What A Dual-Lens Camera System Could Mean for the iPhone 7

What A Dual-Lens Camera System Could Mean for the Next iPhone

The latest set of rumors suggest multiple rear cameras could be part of the next major upgrade to the iPhone. Instead of one camera on the rear, there could be two, either close together or on two distinct corners of the iPhone. So why in the world would Apple do this? 

Amazon cameras

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

First, it's not unprecedented. Amazon's Fire Phone, while poorly received, actually had cameras and infrared LEDs in all four corners of the device. This allowed it to perform some tricks, like Dynamic Perspective where the screen changes based on what you're looking at, thanks to their "Perspective Sensor System" along with other computer vision functions like scanning products to identify them. None of this caught on, but that could be chalked up to Amazon's poor marketing, the plastic build quality of the expensive phone, the restriction to AT&T, and other problems.

So what could Apple do with two distinct cameras? They could have different lenses on each, allowing simultaneous shooting of regular and wide-angle images. The side-by-side nature could enable 3D capture for instant 3D movies. Combined with 4K (or better) recording, and super slow motion, the next iPhone could turn out Hollywood-style 3D movies, with the right software!

Perhaps a more likely outcome is Virtual Reality movies suitable for playback on iPhones using an Apple-branded version of Google Cardboard. Apple's CEO Tim Cook recently praised VR and Apple acquired Augmented Reality maker Metaio about a year ago, so it's about time to expect some AR/VR products from Apple. Multiple cameras in the next iPhone could set the stage for AR and VR consumer products.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.
Todd Bernhard's picture

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.