Jony Ive, the master of design over at Apple, might think the flash and camera are too intrusive to the design of the iPhone. A new patent application filed by Apple, and discovered by AppleInsider, details news ways by which Apple may actually try to hide both features, making for a much cleaner front-face, without taking away from any of the iPhone’s functions.
The patent is titled “Electronic Device With Camera Flash Structures,” and describes a device where the “camera flash may be located under a speaker port mesh,” Apple said in the filing. “A speaker port may contain a camera and a camera flash,” it says. “Light guiding structures may have a ring shape with an opening. A speaker port, camera or button may be located within the opening. A button may have an opaque portion in which a transparent light guiding structure for a camera flash is embedded.” So why is this necessarily needed? Apple explains that, too.
“Challenges arise when mounting flash structures in an electronic device,” the company explains. “If care is not taken, flash structures may be bulky and obtrusive. Flash structures that are mounted poorly may detract from an otherwise aesthetically appealing device appearance.” Apple doesn’t offer a front-facing flash on its current iPhones, and it does mention ways whereby the front display could be used for illumination.
Sounds like a cool idea to us. Think we’ll ever see it?