Apple has filed many patents in the past few months and the latest to be granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office is connected to virtual keyboard which many believe will be introduced in the upcoming smartphone, dubbed as the iPhone 7.
According to Apple's new patent titled: "Camera accessory for angled camera viewing," a front camera in device like iPhone 7 will monitor both virtual keyboard and facial expression of the user.
"A display may be mounted on the front face of the electronic device. The cameras may nominally point along axes that run parallel to surface normals for the front and rear surfaces. A removable camera accessory with reflector structures may be mounted over a camera to deflect light and thereby point the camera in an off-axis direction," read the patent.
"...with a component in the support structures, projecting an image of a virtual keyboard on a surface, wherein the reflector structures comprise a first reflector that points a first portion of the field of view of the camera towards the virtual keyboard and a second reflector that points a second portion of the field of view of the camera towards a face of a user of the virtual keyboard..." continued the patent that explains how the technology will work.
It is still not confirmed if Apple will introduce "virtual keyboard" technology in its upcoming flagship device, the iPhone 7, but it won't come as a surprise if it is seen in the device as the company had filed a similar patent titled "Virtual Keyboard for a Non-Tactile Three Dimensional User Interface" earlier this year.
Nothing much is known about the iPhone 7 but it is expected to be released in September next year by the time the iPhone 6s completes one-year cycle in the market. Apple has the tradition of launching its flagship devices in September.
According to reports that have appeared so far, the iPhone 7 is expected to come with a camera much superior to the ones seen in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, powered by A10 chip and thickness between 6.0 and 6.5 mm.