Apple investigating 3D cameras for iPhones, iPads
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apple investigating 3D cameras for iPhones, iPads

An Apple patent (number 20110074931) for systems and methods for an imaging system using multiple image sensors has appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office. It shows that Apple is considering future iPhones and iPads that can take 3D photos.

Per the patent Systems and methods may employ separate image sensors for collecting different types of data. In one embodiment, separate luma, chroma and 3-D image sensors may be used. The systems and methods may involve generating an alignment transform for the image sensors, and using the 3-D data from the 3-D image sensor to process disparity compensation. The systems and methods may involve image sensing, capture, processing, rendering and/or generating images.

For example, one embodiment may provide an imaging system, including: a first image sensor configured to obtain luminance data of a scene; a second image sensor configured to obtain chrominance data of the scene; a third image sensor configured to obtain three-dimensional data of the scene; and an image processor configured to receive the luminance, chrominance and three-dimensional data and to generate a composite image corresponding to the scene from that data. The inventors of the patent are Brett Bilbrey and Guy Cote.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "The use of separate luma and chroma image sensors, such as cameras, to capture a high quality image is known. In particular, the use of separate luma and chroma image sensors can produce a combined higher quality image when compared to what can be achieved by a single image sensor.

"Implementing an imaging system using separate luma and chroma image sensors involves dealing with alignment and disparity issues that result from separate image sensors. Specifically, known approaches deal with epipolar geometry alignment by generating a transform that can be applied to the luma and chroma data obtained by the separate image sensors. Known approaches deal with stereo disparity compensation using a software-based approach. The software-based approach extrapolates from the image data obtained by the luma and chroma image sensors. For example, one approach is to perform edge detection in the image data to determine what disparity compensation to apply.

"The approaches described herein involve a paradigm shift from the known software-based approaches. While the art has been directed to improvements in the software-based approaches, such improvements have not altered the fundamental approach. In particular, the extrapolation from the image data employed by the software-based approaches is not deterministic. As such, situations exist in which the software approaches must guess at how to perform stereo disparity compensation.

"For example, in software-based approaches that employ edge detection, an adjustment is made to attempt to compensate for offsets between edges in the chroma image and edges in the luma image. Depending on the image data, such software-based approaches may need to guess as to which way to adjust the edges for alignment. Guesses are needed to deal with any ambiguity in the differences between the luma and chroma image data, such as regarding which edges correspond. The guesses may be made based on certain assumptions, and may introduce artifacts in the composite image obtained from combining the compensated luma and chroma image data.

"The paradigm shift described in this disclosure involves a hardware-based approach. A hardware-based approach as described herein does not involve extrapolation, guessing or making determinations on adjustment based on assumptions. Rather, a hardware-based approach as described herein involves a deterministic calculation for stereo disparity compensation, thus avoiding the problem with ambiguity in the differences between the luma and chroma image data in the known software-based approaches.

"Various embodiments described herein are directed to imaging systems and methods that employ separate luma, chroma and depth/distance sensors (generally referred to herein as three-dimensional (3-D) image sensors). As used herein, the image sensors may be cameras or any other suitable sensors, detectors, or other devices that are capable of obtaining the particular data, namely, luma data, chroma data and 3-D data.

"The systems and methods may involve or include both generating an alignment transform for the image sensors, and using the 3-D data from the 3-D image sensor to process disparity compensation. As used herein, imaging systems and methods should be considered to encompass image sensing, capture processing, rendering and/or generating images.

"Various embodiments contemplate generating the alignment transform once to calibrate the imaging system and then using the 3-D data obtained in real time to process disparity compensation in real time (for example, once per frame). The calibration may involve feature point extraction and matching and parameter estimation for the alignment transform. In embodiments, the alignment transform may be an affine transform. In embodiments, the affine transform may be applied on every frame for real-time processing. The real-time processing of disparity compensation may be accomplished by using the real-time 3-D data obtained for each respective frame.

"In particular, some embodiments may take the form of an imaging system. The imaging system may include: a first image sensor configured to obtain luminance data of a scene; a second image sensor configured to obtain chrominance data of the scene; a third image sensor configured to obtain three-dimensional data of the scene; and an image processor configured to receive the luminance data, the chrominance data and the three-dimensional data and to generate a composite image corresponding to the scene from the luminance data, the chrominance data and the three-dimensional data.

"Yet other embodiments may take the form of an imaging method. The imaging method may include: obtaining luminance data of a scene using a first image sensor; obtaining chrominance data of the scene using second image sensor; obtaining three-dimensional data of the scene using a third image sensor; and processing the luminance data, the chrominance data and the three-dimensional data to generate a composite image corresponding to the scene.

"Still other embodiments may take the form of a computer readable storage medium. The computer-readable storage medium may include stored instructions that, when executed by a computer, cause the computer to perform any of the various methods described herein and/or any of the functions of the systems disclosed herein.

"It should be understood that, although the description is set forth in terms of separate luma and chroma sensors, the systems and methods described herein may be applied to any multiple-sensor imaging system or method. For example, a first RGB (red-green-blue) sensor and a second RGB sensor may be employed. Further, the approaches described herein may be applied in systems that employ an array of sensors, such as an array of cameras. As such, it should be understood that the disparity compensation described herein may be extended to systems employing more than two image sensors."

-- Dennis Sellers

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

WhiteCap 6.6 - Visual plug-in for iTunes...
WhiteCap is a sleek and sophisticated music visualizer and screensaver that features futuristic, wireframe mesh visuals with dynamic backgrounds and colors. WhiteCap contains thousands of visual... Read more
VOX 2.8.14 - Music player that supports...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more
Paparazzi! 1.0b2 - Make user-defined siz...
Paparazzi! is a small utility for OS X that makes screenshots of webpages. This very simple tool takes screenshots of websites which do not fit on one screen. You specify the desired width, minimal... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.13 - Easy-to-use...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
TrailRunner 3.8.832 - Route planning for...
TrailRunner is the perfect companion for runners, bikers, hikers, and all people wandering under the sky. Plan routes on a geographical map. Import GPS or workout recordings and journalize your... Read more
VueScan 9.5.65 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Adobe Illustrator CC 2017 21.0.2 - Profe...
Illustrator CC 2017 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Illustrator customer). Adobe Illustrator CC 2017 is the industry... Read more
iDefrag 5.1.7 - Disk defragmentation and...
iDefrag helps defragment and optimize your disk for improved performance. Features include: Supports HFS and HFS+ (Mac OS Extended). Supports case sensitive and journaled filesystems. Supports... Read more
Quicken 4.4.2 - Complete personal financ...
Quicken makes managing your money easier than ever. Whether paying bills, upgrading from Windows, enjoying more reliable downloads, or getting expert product help, Quicken's new and improved features... Read more
iDefrag 5.1.7 - Disk defragmentation and...
iDefrag helps defragment and optimize your disk for improved performance. Features include: Supports HFS and HFS+ (Mac OS Extended). Supports case sensitive and journaled filesystems. Supports... Read more

5 dastardly difficult roguelikes like th...
Edmund McMillen's popular roguelike creation The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth has finally crawled onto mobile devices. It's a grotesque dual-stick shooter that tosses you into an endless, procedurally generated basement as you, the pitiable Isaac,... | Read more »
Last week on PocketGamer
Welcome to a weekly feature looking back on the past seven days of coverage on our sister website, PocketGamer. It’s taken a while for 2017 to really get going, at least when it comes to the world of portable gaming. Thank goodness, then, for... | Read more »
ROME: Total War - Barbarian Invasion set...
To the delight of mobile strategy fans, Feral Interactive released ROME: Total War just a few months ago. Now the game's expansion, Barbarian Invasion is marching onto iPads as a standalone release. [Read more] | Read more »
Yuri (Games)
Yuri 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It's night. Yuri opens his eyes. He wakes up in a strange forest.The small, courageous explorer rides on his bed on casters in this... | Read more »
Space schmup Xenoraid launches on the Ap...
10Tons Xenoraid is out today on the App Store, bringing some high-speed space action to your mobile gadgets just in time for the weekend. The company's last premium title, another sci-fi game titled Neon Chrome, did quite well for itself, so... | Read more »
Star Wars: Force Arena Beginner's G...
Star Wars: Force Arena joined the populous ranks of Star Wars games on mobile today. It's a two-lane MOBA starring many familiar faces from George Lucas's famed sci-fi franchise. As with most games of this nature, Force Arena can be a little obtuse... | Read more »
Mysterium: The Board Game (Games)
Mysterium: The Board Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The official adaptation of the famous board game Mysterium! | Read more »
Sonny (Games)
Sonny 1.0.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.4 (iTunes) Description: Reimagined for iOS, cult-hit RPG Sonny brings challenging turn-based combat that requires strategy and mastery of each new skill to... | Read more »
Towaga (Games)
Towaga 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: "It has been foretold that a masked being would stand atop the legendary Towaga Temple, dwelling among shadows to fulfil The Black Moon... | Read more »
Bubble Witch 3 Saga Guide: How to get th...
King's bringing its fairytale bubble-popping puzzler back for its 3rd outing in Bubble Witch 3 Saga. If you're familiar with the series, not much has changed here on the surface level, though you'll likely be pleased with the improvements. If you'... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Opera Announces Neon Concept Browser For Mac
Opera is inviting users to get a glimpse of what Opera for computers could become with its Opera Neon browser concept. Each Opera Neon feature is described as “an alternate reality” for the Opera... Read more
Tellini Releases TabView 3.0 Missing Tool fo...
Tellini has announced the release of TabView 3.0. TabView has been the first macOS viewer for PowerTab tablatures. PowerTab is a well-known and widely adopted tablature editor for Windows systems and... Read more
13-inch 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for...
Overstock.com has the 1.6GHz/128GB 13″ MacBook Air on sale for $130 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MMGF2LL/A): $869.99 $130 off MSRP Their price is the lowest... Read more
12-inch 32GB Space Gray iPad Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has 12″ Space Gray 32GB WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for $55 off MSRP including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 12″ Space Gray 32GB WiFi iPad Pro: $744.44 $55 off... Read more
9-inch 32GB Space Gray iPad Pro on sale for $...
B&H Photo has the 9.7″ 32GB Space Gray Apple iPad Pro on sale for $549 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Read more
Apple iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP,...
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2199 $100 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac... Read more
Apple refurbished Apple TVs available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 32GB and 64GB Apple TVs available for up to $30 off the cost of new models. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more
1.4GHz Mac mini, refurbished, available for $...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 1.4GHz Mac minis available for $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. Their price is $80 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest... Read more
16GB iPad Air 2, Apple refurbished, available...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 16GB iPad Air 2s available for $319 including free shipping. A standard Apple one-year is included. Their price is $60 off original MSRP for this model. Read more
Mac Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP, refurbish...
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3799, $200... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Premier Retailer - Service Technicia...
DescriptionSimply Mac is the largest premier retailer for Apple products and solutions. At Simply Mac we are all Apple , all the time. Same products. Same prices. Read more
*Apple* Premier Retailer - Service Technicia...
DescriptionSimply Mac is the largest premier retailer for Apple products and solutions. At Simply Mac we are all Apple , all the time. Same products. Same prices. Read more
*Apple* Premier Retailer - Service Manager -...
DescriptionSimply Mac is the largest premier retailer for Apple products and solutions. At Simply Mac we are all Apple , all the time. Same products. Same prices. Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Crows N...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* & PC Desktop Support Technician...
Apple & PC Desktop Support Technician job in Los Angeles, CA Introduction: We have immediate job openings for several Desktop Support Technicians with one of our Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.