iPhonePatents

Future iPhones may assist the vision-impaired in taking photos

This image illustrates an example user interfaces for providing users (e.g., low-vision and blind users) with non-visual assistance for taking photographs.

Apple has been granted a patent (number 11588969 B2) that hints at future iPhone features that will assist the vision-impaired in taking photos.

About the patent 

The patent involves electronic devices with cameras, including but not limited to electronic devices with cameras that provide audible and/or tactile assistance for low-vision or blind users while taking photographs. In the patent data, Apple says that taking a photograph is one of the most important features of any modern smartphone (or other portable multifunction device). Whether it is capturing a memory for a personal library, or for communicating on social media, users are constantly taking and sharing photos. 

Apple says it’s essential that all users, including low-vision and blind users, be able to take basic photographs, and desirable that they be able to take beautiful and artistic photographs. However, due to the inherent visual aspects of photography, it is difficult for low-vision and blind users to take great photographs with standard user interfaces. Apple wants to change this.

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “An electronic device obtains one or more images of a scene, and displays a preview of the scene. If the electronic device meets levelness criteria, the electronic device provides a first audible and/or tactile output indicating that the camera is obtaining level images of the scene. In some embodiments, the electronic device detects, using one or more sensors, an orientation of a first axis of the electronic device relative to a respective vector, and the levelness criteria include a criterion that is met when the first axis of the electronic device moves within a predefined range of the respective vector.

“In some embodiments, if the orientation of the first axis of the electronic device moves outside of the predefined range of the respective vector, a second audible and/or tactile output, indicating that the camera is not obtaining level images of the scene, is provided.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.