We all use our mobile devices to do a variety of things like check appointments, listen to music and of course make phone calls. But if there’s one feature which has evolved greatly since the evolution of mobile phones, it’s the camera. Smartphones these days can capture images at such clarity that people don’t see the need to get a full fledged point and shoot camera (SLRs are still top dogs though). We saw that with the Nokia 808 Pureview, Lumia 920 and the range of Sony’s 2012 droids which packed massive camera sensors with optimum amount of research and technology involved. However, we can all agree that sometimes images taken from a mobile device or any camera for that matter, comes out blurred, especially if the person holding the device is in a hurry. We get to see a lot of these images in the tech world, and we like to tag them as Blurry Cam pictures. And now, RIM has taken the responsibility to avoid these Blurry Cam images once and for all by filing for a new patent which would require the user to hold and focus the camera for a certain amount of time before the image is taken.
We understand this is also a security feature as most corporate executives own BlackBerrys and there is a possibility of top secret confidential info being leaked out with the camera. RIM’s past solution to this was to launch specific BlackBerry models without a camera on the back. This perhaps is the most effective way to avoid leaking of classified info. However, this new feature could also be beneficial for the regular user who wants to make images look good. The patent filing states the following in clear terms – “the camera restriction prevents a user from taking a picture of a subject if the device has not been steadily focused on the subject in question for a predetermined period of time“.
There’s no word on exactly how long the user will have to hold the device and focus it in order to obtain an image, which according to Engadget is something left to the IT Department at RIM to figure out. When we think about it, it seems like the patent application has been made so as to strictly improve the user experience of BlackBerry smartphones and not to avoid leak of info. Because even with the camera requiring the object to be focused for a “predetermined” period of time, it won’t stop people from taking snaps of confidential info. But if RIM could find a way to avoid capturing images one after another and provide a cool down period of about 5 minutes between images, this could be very appealing for corporate users.
I’m not sure if any other company would even think of getting a patent like this, but RIM is within its full rights to obtain a patent for something which it sees as a necessary feature for its smartphones. So let’s hope we see this implemented in future BB smartphones, although we don’t think the current crop of BB10 smartphones (which haven’t been revealed yet) will get the said feature. The company has to discuss in detail as to when and where this feature could be beneficial for the users, irrespective of their profession. For those interested, this patent can be found under the tag – 8,346,072.