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LG just filed a patent for a smartphone with no less than 16 camera lenses

Korean tech powerhouse LG has recently filed a patent describing a smartphone camera with a whopping 16 cameras.

That’s eight iPhones’ worth of photographic gear.

How many cameras are too many cameras? In the current state of the market, it seems that question has no answer. Manufacturers are embedded in an obstinate camera craze resembling the megapixel race from a decade ago.

Dutch technology site LetsGoDigital discovered the patent in question, which shows a proposed 16-camera arrangement in a 4×4 matrix at the back of a smartphone.

One of the main objectives of this lens overload is likely to allow the user to take multiple perspectives of a subject from a single shot. That gives you 16 different angles of every snap to choose from.

If you ask me, that sounds like a selfie nightmare for someone with any kind of anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Diagram of a 4x4 camera array LG has patented

What does sound pretty neat is that this 4×4 array could allow you to capture 3D photos and videos. The system could also make it faster for an AI to spot the borders of a face and replace it, allowing software developers to come up with new and more efficient face identification solutions and other photo manipulation features.

All the camera gear in this model is placed at the back of the phone, but a mirror enables the lens array to point at the front of the phone.

Of course, a patent is no indication that this particular model will ever be built and sold, but it does point us to where manufacturers are spending their smarts.

LG in particular is already leading the camera race with their recent V40 ThinQ model, which sports five lenses in total, so this patent is revealing in the sense it shows us the area where the Korean tech giant is focusing their R&D on at the moment.

Diagram describing new image editing fatures of a 16 camera LG smartphone

About the author

Filmmaker. 3D artist. Procrastination guru. I spend most of my time doing VFX work for my upcoming film Servicios Públicos, a sci-fi dystopia about robots, overpopulated cities and tyrant states. @iampineros

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