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Intrigued by the idea of a smartphone camera featuring multiple LED flash bulbs onboard? Apparently so is Google. In September of 2011 the company filed for such a patent, and it has now been granted by the USPTO.

According to the patent,  the idea is that multiple LED flashes would allow for overall improved lightening, effectively eliminating bright spots and shadows.

Right now it is no secret that LED flashes are considerably worse than Xenon flash when it comes to quality. With a multiple-LED configuration, LED flash might finally be able to catch up and provide a similar quality without the high power consumption and extra thickness you’d find with a Xenon flash camera.

So when could we see such technology actually surface in an Android smartphone? Although we have no way of even knowing if they actively working on a phone with such technology, it certainly isn’t inconceivable that a not too-distant future Motorola or Nexus device might make use of the newly patented method. Perhaps even the Motorola X could be a perfect candidate? Alright, so its probably not likely to arrive in a product that soon after being granted, but you never know.


For now, all we can do is speculate. What we do know is that Google is great when it comes to thinking outside of the box, and so we could see many unique uses for multiple-LED configurations in the future.  What do you think of this new patent, when do you think we will see the first Android devices that utilize the technology?

Andrew Grush
Andrew is one of the three Managing Editors of Android Authority, primarily responsible for the overseeing of US team of writers, in addition to several other projects such as VR Source and more. He loves tech, gaming, his family, and good conversations with like-minded folks.
  • James Legault

    IMHO, not patent worthy. OMG, instead of 1 LED, let’s use MOAR!
    That is if they’re using it as a camera flash.

    • Asakura

      not really in photography wise, cellphone led flashes have bad habits, one of them is bathing in light just one specific spot (this is because the size of the flash), and this looks bad.

      with some good software, multiple flashes can give better flash distribution for a picture.

      so yes its patent worthy imo

  • gregor

    great now I can have disco lights on my phone, plus multiple notification led. ^^

    yeah I know it’s camera led, but people have habit (read *cough*iphone*chough*) to use camera flash in absence of notification led.
    perhaps when new email comes then blue, yellow & red led will flashing ^^

    or perhaps some music app can utilize it. I still remember my old nokia xpress music have multiple flashing light when playing a song ^^