Apple has been granted a patent (via AppleInsider) for a wireless iPhone camera remote control, which has a built-in display for previewing and reviewing photos, and shutter buttons for both still and movies, as well as a way to switch camera modes remotely and full media playback controls. The device would connect to an iPhone or other mobile iOS device via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
The camera could even be used to launch the camera app if it’s not active, which is a feature that isn’t necessarily available to current third-party iPhone Bluetooth camera remotes. Plus, Apple’s specific piece of unique technological innovation here is that the remote could receive and display notifications about the camera’s status, telling a user that a picture was successfully taken, or that focus lock has been achieved, etc., which is something that current iterations don’t offer.
The accessory would be a bit of a departure for Apple, in terms of this thing actually getting made, but the company has been known to create accessories specific to photography in the past, including the iPod and iPad camera connection kit adapters. Camera and camera tech has long been one of the iPhone’s key selling points, and despite the rise in the number of feature gimmicks in competitor devices, Cupertino still gets a lot of praise for the image quality of photos taken on its mobile products.
It’s still a pretty specialized device, however, and essentially would amount to an iPod nano you carry around to control your iPhone, which seems like a lot of excess hardware that flies in the face of Apple’s commitment to simplicity, so don’t hold your breath for this one. Still, combined with the camera lens bayonet mount for iPhone Apple patented previously, it’s exciting to imagine a time when Apple pushes the iPhone as a full-fledged replacement for a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, and accessories like this could help flesh out an ecosystem in that case.