Apple has been granted a patent (number US 11867352 B2) for an “Adapter For Charging and Stabilizing Cameras.” It involves a stand for charging an iPhone during filming, and connecting to a gimbal.
About the patent
In the patent filing Apple notes that smartphones can include multiple cameras, where each camera has a different focal length or range of focal lengths and can optimized for specific types of images, such as portraits, group photos, or low-light photography. Specialized software and processors can help to improve the quality of these various types of images. Some of these cameras have such a high quality that they are replacing traditional single-lens reflex (SLR) and other cameras in many applications.
Apple says that the adoption of phone cameras into these non-traditional uses has been slowed by a lack of enabling infrastructure. While there are vast numbers and types of camera stabilizers such as tripods, gimbals, and other devices for SLR cameras, the same doesn’t exist for cameras on phones.
Apple says what is needed are adapters, mounts, and other devices to allow existing camera stabilizers to be used with cameras on phones. Also, since many photographers have camera bags and camera backpacks that are already loaded with equipment, these adapters should be small and compact.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “Adapters that can mount phones or other electronic devices on camera stabilizers, where the adapters are portable, can capable of charging, and can allow cameras on the phones to be easily leveled or adjusted to any orientation. An adapter can include a base portion having an opening, where a fastener in the opening can attach the adapter to a camera stabilizer, as well as an upright portion having an enclosure and a contacting surface.
“The enclosure can house a first magnet array for magnetically attracting a second magnet array in a phone, such that the phone can be readily mounted to a camera stabilizer. The enclosure can further house near-field communication circuits and components for identification. The upright portion and base portion can be connected by a fixed right angle or by a hinge, which can allow the adapter to fold into a more convenient form.”