You might have noticed over the last year or so that dual-camera smartphones are becoming increasingly popular. The fun part about that is that most of them have secondary lenses for different purposes. On the iPhone 7 Plus, the second lens provides 2X optical zoom, and on the LG V20, it provides the opposite effect with a wide-angle lens.
Of course, there's still no perfect setup, as you might want the 2X zoom and wide-angle lens at different times but with the same device. One would think that the only solution is a triple-lens camera, but it turns out that ZEISS has something in mind: a rotary camera system that swaps out the lenses.
Discovered by WinFuture, the company filed a patent with the German Patent and Trademark Office in 2015 that was made public in March. ZEISS refers to it as a 'miniaturized zoom camera', as each lens would zoom in on the image at a different strength.
Back when Nokia made its Lumia Windows phones, ZEISS cameras are part of what made them famous for their photographic capabilities. Ever since the company's Devices and Services division was purchased by Microsoft and what was left of the company later licensed its name to HMD Global to make smartphones again, it seemed that the partnership with ZEISS was over. Earlier this month though, Nokia confirmed that it will be producing devices with ZEISS cameras, exciting fans of the company.
Of course, this is just a patent, and many patents never become a reality, but if ZEISS ever does bring this technology to market, it will likely be seen in an upcoming Nokia phone.