It’s pretty much a given nowadays that any smartphone that costs more than $400 is going to come with at least two rear camera lenses. Some phones are coming with as many as four lenses and we’re not even surprised by it anymore. According to some newly unearthed patents, though, Samsung might be working on tilting cameras as the next frontier of mobile photography.
In the patent images above (or the full patent filing here, h/t Android Police), you can get an idea for what Samsung might be trying to do. the lenses lay flat when not needed but then can tilt back and forth when necessary. This tilting creates different fields of view that could, in theory, dramatically alter the kinds of images a phone might capture.
As an example, a collection of tilted cameras could create strangely warped images, akin to a fisheye lens. Your phone could preserve this arty photos or use an algorithm to patch them all together to create a single “normal” image. We see this all the time with panorama shots, for example, but these cameras could be even more versatile.
Obviously, patents don’t always lead to products, so it’s important we look at these tilting cameras as just an idea for now. Still, it’s nice to see Samsung trying to innovate new ways for our phones to capture images, so stay tuned for the future!