Google has been granted a patent for multiple flashes on a mobile device. A series of LED flashes is bound to be more powerful than the single LED most smartphones have these days and it opens a host of photographic possibilities. For small or close-up photography a ring flash will go a long way toward smooth, consistent and shadow free lighting. A multiple flash layout also opens the door for second curtain or slow sync flash, which allows for much better nighttime shots.
The patent also addresses different positions and configurations for the flash units. One such configuration would make it more like a pop-up flash as seen on many point and shoot cameras. Moving the flash farther from the lens would also have the added benefit of reducing the number of red-eye shots. This new patent creates a lot of possibilities, including the end of mediocrity when it comes to cameras on Google’s Nexus handsets. This could, of course, find its way to Motorola. Anyone count the flashes on that mythical X Phone yet?