LG Patent Filing Reveals Smartphone With Insect-Like 16 Camera Lenses

LG V40 ThinQ
A relatively recent trend in the smartphone space is to implement dual cameras on the backside of the handset, which enables some nifty depth-of-field effects through hardware (rather than software alone). Some phones even wield four rear cameras, like Huawei's Mate 20 Pro. Well, LG apparently has aspirations of boasting the most cameras on a single phone, with a patent filing pointing to four times as many rear camera sensors as the Mate 20 Pro.

That's right, LG filed a patent that discusses a 16-camera arrangement, which would be the most ever on a smartphone if it comes to fruition. How can there possibly be room for that many camera sensors? The answer is in the insect-like design. They're arranged in a 4x4 matrix that appears proportional to Huawei's quad-camera block.

LG Camera Matrix
Source: LetsGoDigital via USPTO/LG

In a patent filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), LG refers to this as a "plurality of lenses."

"The mobile terminal comprises a display module; a camera provided with a plurality of lenses; and a controller configured to receive images through the plurality of lenses and outputting the received images on the display module, wherein the controller generates one moving image data by using an image received from the first lens of the plurality of lenses and an image received from the second lens different from the first lens," LG explains.

So what's the point in having that many cameras? One scenario is to take multiple pictures with different lenses, and then select the best image out of the bunch. Alternatively, and perhaps more useful, having 16 lenses increases the editing capabilities in unique ways.

LG Camera
Source: LetsGoDigital via USPTO

Where this could be most beneficial is with capturing 3D scans. The 16 camera lenses can snap photos from slightly different angles, and then generate a moving image by stitching it all together. A user could also replace part of a photo with an image from a different sensor.

It's all pretty wild, and exactly how a 16-camera arrangement would be fully utilized remains to be seen. That's assuming LG turns its patented idea into a reality, which is never a given. If it does, though, it will be interesting to see what kinds of scenarios developers come up with, and also what kind of premium a 16-camera smartphone would carry.

Thumbnail Image Source: LetsGoDigital
Tags:  Patent, smartphones, LG, USPTO