LG Making 16-Camera Phone That Can Do Crazy (and Scary) Things

Get out of the way, quadcamera Samsung Galaxy A9 and pentacamera Nokia 9 PureView, because LG is working on a new photography trick: a 16-lens camera that will be able to do some really scary and very cool stuff.

Credit: Lets Go Digital

(Image credit: Lets Go Digital)

Unearthed by Dutch tech blog and tireless patent digger Lets Go Digital, LG’s hexadecacamera matrix that can capture a scene from multiple points of view, thanks to lenses and sensors placed at slightly different angles.

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According to Letsgodigital, you could select the best angle of a photo after taking it.

You could also be able to swap part of the image to another angle, using artificial intelligence to make the change seamless. In this example shown in the patent, you could move the head of a subject, but not the body.

Credit: Lets Go Digital

(Image credit: Lets Go Digital)

But things take a darker turn when you dig deeper into this feature. Apparently you will be able to perform seamless face swapping with another face from another photo taken at a different time. If it works as described, we are all headed to a scary world of consumer-made Deepfakes — the AI technique that automagically swaps faces of people in photos and videos.

On the bright side, the multiple-angle setup will allow for a brilliant trick: the ability to create 3D photo loops similar to this:

Since you will be able to capture a scene from multiple angles at the same time, the camera software will be able to quickly play back all the different photos in a ping-pong loop.

Credit: Giphy

(Image credit: Giphy)

The result will be one animated video or GIF that looks three-dimensional, as shown above.

It’s easy to imagine people instagramming the hell out of their world using this technique — including selfies, of course.

Apparently, this may be one of LG’s intentions, since the patent mentions that this 16-lens matrix camera will be ideal for selfies. Taking a page from the Nubia X, the patent describes the inclusion of a mirror or a full screen on the phone’s back.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.