The US Patent and Trademark office has just awarded Apple a "Multi-point Touch Focus" patent. The patent describes "a camera (that) includes a lens arranged to focus an image on an image sensor and a touch sensitive visual display for freely selecting two or more regions of interest on a live preview image by touch input."
For future iOS users, this means they can select two or more areas on their touch-screen and then take a picture, with optimal sharpness and exposure, for those selected areas.
Apple's solution to rely on multi-touch input and advanced auto-focusing, combined with the live preview feature, will help photographers to get closer to desired results. The new patent describes the functionality of an image processor capable of tracking the regions of interest, as defined by the user.
The auto-focus technology is similar to the one featured in the latest iPhone, but taken a step further. The new focus will not be limited to face-detection only.
Moreover, the regions of interest can vary in size. The patent also suggests a dedicated chip will be required, as the new multi-point touch focus needs a fair amount of power. Apple's clear interest in revamping iOS camera capabilities have been revealed, by seventeen other recently granted patents.