Apple’s future iPhone models might have smaller camera bumps once its research pertaining camera technology succeeds, a report says.

Apple is currently researching the use of a periscope-like camera assembly placed inside the body of an iPhone, Apple Insider reported. The use of such an assembly is expected to result in, among other things, improved camera performance and reduced camera bump size.

Improved camera performance

The research is detailed in two similar patents published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. One of these patents describes a “Folded lens system with five refractive lenses.” The other patent is for “Folded lens system with three refractive lenses.” While both designs make use of concave and convex lenses to manipulate light, they differ in purpose and application.

The five-lens setup will offer a field of view (FOV) between 28 and 41 degrees, which means it can be used for a wide-angle camera. By using five refractive lenses to manipulate light, the camera can offer a 35-mm equivalent of a 50-88mm focal length range.

The three-lens setup, on the other hand, has an FOV between 17.8 and 28.5 degrees, which means it can be used for the telephoto camera. The three refractive lenses embedded will allow the camera to offer 35-mm equivalent of an 80-200mm focal length range.

Reduced bump size

Despite the focal length ranges, these cameras will not need a lot of room inside the iPhone body. Similarly, they won’t need to protrude far outside the iPhone body. The periscope-like design, which uses a prism to reflect images at a 90-degree angle, will allow a camera sensor to be mounted at a distance farther than the usual location - with minimal protrusion.

The periscope design will allow the iPhone’s camera to change the direction of light, used to capture an image, towards a certain area in the body of the device. This means the iPhone will be able to lengthen the distance used in the lens assembly.

Apple Insider noted that in theory, Apple will be able to use both camera assemblies for a dual-camera setup. The Cupertino tech giant might also be able to develop an ultra-wide lens with a periscope-like design.

Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller unveils the triple-camera iPhone 11 Pro at a launch event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California (Pictured: Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller unveils the triple-camera iPhone 11 Pro at a launch event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California) Photo: AFP / Josh Edelson