Andromeda concept
Image Courtesy: Harry

A new patent application suggests that Microsoft could be working on a device that will come with the multi-part camera system. According to the patent, the camera system will have a body and a flexible mount, and it would be able to reduce the tilt error.

First noticed by us, the patent titled “Self-aligning multi-part camera system” was published by USPTO earlier today and filed by Microsoft in 2016.

“In some multi-part electronic devices, at least two of the multiple parts can be positioned to overlap each other to provide a specific operation for the camera. As just one example, the overlapped mode may provide for additional focusing options based on using optical elements in a second part of the device with a main camera part in a first part of the device when the first and second parts of the device are overlapped,” Microsoft explains in the background section of the patent application.

Microsoft patent for dual camera device
Image Courtesy: USPTO

The device feature multiple displays or body parts with one part comprising a camera and there is another camera module which is mounted on the second part of the device. The two cameras are aligned together.

Microsoft has explained the technology below:

“A multi-part electronic device has a mode with at least two overlapped device parts comprising a first camera part mounted on a first device part and a second camera part mounted on a second device part. At least one of the first and second camera parts is resiliently mounted such that contact between the first and second camera parts when the first device part and the second device part are overlapped with each other aligns the first camera part and the second camera part within a selected angular deviation between the camera parts’ respective optical axes. A camera part having a body and a flexible mount and a method of reducing tilt error are also described”.

“In one implementation, the first camera part comprises a first resilient camera mount attached to the first device part and the second camera part comprises a second resilient camera mount attached to the second device part. The first and second camera parts are positioned at rest in respective protruded positions protruding relative to respective surrounding surfaces. Contact between the first and second camera parts urges at least one of the camera parts to withdraw inwardly relative to its protruded position,” the patent reads.

  • WPJ

    There’s no way it’s going to work. The amount of precision required is insane. Either it will deliver blurry images or cost more than an italian roadster.

    • JohnW

      Self aligning fittings aren’t that unusual. It’s a smaller scale than our designs but I would have thought it likely to work. Dirt and damage are more likely to be issues.

      • WPJ

        Fittings, but we’re talking about optics here, very tiny optical elements at that. Try to disassemble a photo lens and take it back but ever so slightly out of alignment in the middle. That’s essentially what’s going on here.

        • JohnW

          On the other hand machines can put lenses together repeatably. Some of our lenses come as kits and we have no issues assembling them. It all depends on designing the parts to mate properly. The lenses you dismantled weren’t designed for the user to reassemble them.

  • Alfred Soyemi

    imo, that is too two much moving parts for alignment / tilt error sake.