LG patents phone with 16 cameras

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*Microsoft’s foldable smartphone Andromeda out in 2019

LG has filed a patent that describes potential features of future smartphones, including an array of 16 cameras. What’s interesting about them (other than the number) is that they will not lie flat on the back.

The company envisions a 4 x 4 array of cameras arranged at an angle (making the array concave or convex). This way each camera sees the scene from a different angle. A photo can then be stitched from the image taken by several cameras.

An example given in the patent is photographing people and replacing the face of each person in the frame with the angle that looks best. The software will even be able to use a face from a photo taken previously.

Since it would be a waste not to use this 16 camera array to take selfies, LG suggests placing a mirror near the camera, an old school solution. Alternatively, there may be a second display. A selfie camera will still be on board as it’s useful for things like video calls.

Shooting a scene from multiple angles and stitching a final image Shooting a scene from multiple angles and stitching a final image Shooting a scene from multiple angles and stitching a final image.  Shooting a scene from multiple angles and stitching a final image

The patent suggests other ideas too, like a loudspeaker on the back. Combined with a loudspeaker on the front, it will make for wide stereo sound.

Meanwhile, it’s been a few months since we last heard about Microsoft’s foldable Andromeda smartphone but according to a book called “Beneath a Surface”, the tech company will surprise us with the innovative device in 2019. It gives out some interesting info regarding the hybrid’s functionality.

The book tells a story about a tablet, which when folded acts as a smartphone. But Microsoft won’t be using the regular old Windows Phone OS, which is dead for a while now. Reportedly, it will offer a full-fledged Windows experience with some minor trimming at best.

The book also talks about other devices that Microsoft is planning through 2019. Expect a new Xbox One console, Surface laptops with AMD chips instead of Intel’s, re-designed Surface Studio and a direct iPad Pro 12.9 competitor with a USB-C charging port and rounded corners of the screen. 

For a while this Monday, Microsoft surpassed Apple as the most valuable United States-based company. The software company hit a valuation point of $813 billion today, which was just $1 billion ahead of Apple. Considering that not long ago Apple (and Amazon not too long after) broke $1 trillion valuation, it has come a long way down since then, due in part to Apple’s latest (and most expensive) smartphones (XR, XS, XS Max) not selling as well as anticipated.

It isn’t to say that Microsoft hasn’t faced any challenges lately, but Apple has been just been barely able to get by with investors. Its smartphone business has slowed down due to a very complicated list of factors but has tried to compensate revenue by raising the retail price of iPhones every year while also focusing on selling subscription based services like iCloud and Apple Music.

On the other hand, Microsoft is doing well with Azure cloud services and Office 365’s subscription-based model while Microsoft’s gaming segment (Xbox) is seeing strong forecasts with its Xbox All Access monthly subscription model. On a similar note, both Sony and Microsoft are rumored to be releasing brand-new consoles this year.

We are anticipating a very interesting Q4 this year. Apple recently introduced its new iPad Pro, Mac Mini, and MacBook Air lineups which are coming out just in time for the shopping season.

Its recent partnership with Amazon to sell Apple devices will also help boost some sales and we’re curious to see if 2018 iPhone sales will strengthen before the end of the year.

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