TekGoblin reports Apple filed a patent for a flash redirection mechanism that would enable you to light up dimly lit areas with your camera's flash. Additionally, the patent also describes a scene condition detector that analyzes the ambient light levels, measured distance from the object, and many more factors to further improve image quality.
The way the new flash works is very intriguing, a user can select a dimly lit area of the photo and the camera will try to illuminate just that area with the flash. The way Apple is attempting to accomplish this is similar to the way the autofocus works on the iPhone 4 where you can touch the screen in certain areas to focus on that area. Instead you will be able to light up that area with the flash. This is accomplished by the camera flash passing through a ‘redirector’ so the flash can be placed in a different location other than directly center when a photo is taken. Now the brightness of the flash can also be taken in consideration with the ‘evaluator’ pictured above which intelligently considers how much light needs to be added to the picture to attain the best possible results.