Apple granted patent for pulsed control of a camera flash
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apple granted patent for pulsed control of a camera flash

Apple granted patent for Apple has been granted a patent (number 20110081142) for pulsed control of a camera flash by the US Patent & Trademark Office. An embodiment of the invention relates generally to electronic devices having a camera function (referred to here as an electronic camera device), and more particularly to techniques for controlling the camera flash.

Per the patent, input from a user is received, to take a picture. A camera flash is signaled to produce multiple flash pulses during a single shutter cycle of the picture. The amplitudes of at least two of the flash pulses are different relative to each other.

The picture is stored, including in its metadata information that describes the variable amplitude of the flash pulses that illuminated the scene when taking the picture. The information describing the variable amplitude of the flash pulses is used to deblur the picture. Other embodiments are also described and claimed. Richard Tsai is the inventor.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "In photography, a conventional camera flash is used to improve image picture quality in low light situations, by illuminating the scene with a burst of visible light while a picture of the scene is taken. For portable devices, such as handheld dedicated digital cameras and multifunction devices referred to as smart phones, the practical choices for an integrated, flash light source include the use of light emitting diodes (LEDs) and gas discharge lamps.

"An LED flash can be used to provide continuous illumination, which provides good illumination for capturing a rapid sequence of images, such as a video sequence. A gas discharge flash is typically operated in a pulsed manner to provide a very high intensity light but for a relatively short duration, no longer than the period of time the shutter is allowed to remain open to capture the scene for a single picture or frame. It is some times desirable to provide a less intense flash, e.g. during a redeye reduction process where the main flash is immediately proceeded by one or more reduced intensity flashes.

"Illumination by flash is provided during the image-framing period (also referred to as the single shutter cycle for taking a picture). A typical range for such a period is 200-300 milliseconds. Some LED flashes are not capable of providing their highest level of illumination for the entire image framing period, and thus have to be pulsed with, for example, one larger pulse and one smaller pulse during the entire shutter cycle. There may also be thermal reasons for pulsing an LED flash.

"In other aspects of photography, it is known that a moving object in the scene, or movement of the camera relative to an object in the scene, causes motion blur. In other words, the object appears blurred in the picture. Shortening the exposure time for taking the picture may reduce such blur, provided the image sensor is sensitive enough to capture a sufficient amount of light from the scene during the shorter exposure time. In another technique known as deblurring, a signal processing operation known as deconvolution can be applied to the picture in order to recover the high frequency or edge details that have been lost in the blurred picture.

"It has been reported that for an improved deblur operation, rather than leaving the shutter open continuously for the entire exposure duration, the camera shutter is 'fluttered,' i.e. opened and closed rapidly during a single exposure period, in accordance with a binary pseudo-random sequence or code.

"This flutter effectively changes the inherent filtering effect of the exposure time, in a way that better preserves the high frequency spatial or edge details in the picture, such that the subsequent deconvolution (deblurring) operation can be more easily performed to recover the edge information in the picture. This so-called coded exposure photography technique or flutter shutter technique has been suggested as being extendable to strobe lighting flashes. This coded flash sequence has been suggested to provide a greater ability to control motion sensing.

"An embodiment of the invention is an electronic device having a camera function for taking a picture, where a controller is to command a camera flash to produce two or more multi-value coded pulses of light during a single shutter cycle of the picture. As redefined here, the term 'camera flash' is not limited to elements that produce only visible light pulses; the camera flash can also, or alternatively, produce non-visible light pulses that can be reflected from moving objects in the scene and then detected by an imaging sensor (as a picture of the scene with the moving object).

"The pulses are said to be 'multi-value coded' in that the amplitudes of at least two of the flash pulses are non-zero and different relative to each other. This variation in the flash pulses inherently embeds useful information into the picture about the motion of an object, which in turn provides an effective mechanism to subsequently deblur the picture (using stored knowledge of the timing and variable amplitude characteristics of the variable flash pulses). The mechanism is also applicable in the case of video compression, to perform motion compensation across several frames of video. Having the amplitude of the flash pulses be variable yields an improved ability to subsequently discriminate the high frequency or edge components of the picture, during the subsequent deblurring or motion compensation operation.

"The above summary does not include an exhaustive list of all aspects of the present invention. It is contemplated that the invention includes all systems and methods that can be practiced from all suitable combinations of the various aspects summarized above, as well as those disclosed in the Detailed Description below and particularly pointed out in the claims filed with the application. Such combinations have particular advantages not specifically recited in the above summary."

-- Dennis Sellers

 
AAPL
$101.66
Apple Inc.
+0.23
MSFT
$46.70
Microsoft Corpora
-0.31
GOOG
$575.62
Google Inc.
-5.73

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Screenshot Path 1.2.1 - Change the defau...
Screenshot Path lets you change the folder where OS X saves screenshots. Screenshots are saved by default to the user’s desktop. This is handy for the occasional screenshot but those looking to take... Read more
Fantastical 1.3.16 - Create calendar eve...
Fantastical is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event details... Read more
GIMP 2.8.14 - Powerful, free image editi...
GIMP is a multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching,... Read more
HoudahSpot 3.9.3 - Advanced front-end fo...
HoudahSpot is an advanced file search tool built upon MacOS X Spotlight. Spotlight unleashed Create detailed queries to locate the exact file you need Narrow down searches. Zero in on files Save... Read more
djay 4.2.3 - Transform your Mac into a f...
djay transforms your Mac into a full-fledged DJ system, allowing you to mix your iTunes music library on a hyper-realistic turntable interface. Perform live, record mixes on-the-go, or enable... Read more
iDefrag 2.2.8 - 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
Bookends 12.2.3 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Access the power of Bookends directly from Mellel, Nisus Writer Pro, or MS Word (... Read more
Copy 1.47.0410 - Cloud storage and file...
Note: You must first sign up to use Copy (get a 5GB sign-up bonus through our 'Download' link above). Copy lets you sync, protect, and share. Everywhere. Want to bring some files home? No problem!... Read more
Stacks 2.6.3 - New way to create pages i...
Stacks is a new way to create pages in RapidWeaver: A plugin designed to combine drag-and-drop simplicity with the power of fluid layout. Features: Fluid Layout: Stacks lets you build pages that... Read more
RestoreMeNot 2.0 - Disable window restor...
RestoreMeNot provides a simple way to disable the window restoration for individual applications so that you can fine-tune this behavior to suit your needs. Please note that RestoreMeNot is designed... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

This Week at 148Apps: September 8-12, 20...
Expert App Reviewers   So little time and so very many apps. What’s a poor iOS devotee to do? Fortunately, 148Apps is here to give you the rundown on the latest and greatest releases. And we even have a tremendous back catalog of reviews; just check... | Read more »
Rejoice, Kittens! Kitty Powers’ Matchmak...
Rejoice, Kittens! | Read more »
Upcoming Digital Board Game SettleForge...
Upcoming Digital Board Game SettleForge is Headed to iOS Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 12th, 2014 [ permalink ] SettleForge is a single-player board game where players take on the role of the king as they try to | Read more »
Air Supply SOS Set to Bring Retro Sheep...
Air Supply SOS Set to Bring Retro Sheep Rescuing to iOS Soon Posted by Ellis Spice on September 12th, 2014 [ permalink ] Quantum Sheep has announced that the latest entry in the | Read more »
Star Wars: Commander Reveals Who is Winn...
Star Wars: Commander Reveals Who is Winning the Galactic Civil War Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 12th, 2014 [ permalink ] Disney Interactive has released a new infographic detailing the stat | Read more »
The New MOGA REBEL iOS Controller is Set...
The New MOGA REBEL iOS Controller is Set to Be Released on September 17 Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 12th, 2014 [ permalink ] MO | Read more »
Scuba Dupa Review
Scuba Dupa Review By Rob Thomas on September 12th, 2014 Our Rating: :: BUBBLE TROUBLEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Scuba Dupa is cute and simple fun, but you’re going to have to part with a bit too much sunken... | Read more »
Get Ready for the iPhone 6 – Amazon Trad...
Get Ready for the iPhone 6 – Amazon Trade-in Program Locks in Used Gadget Prices Until October 10 Posted by Ellis Spice on September 12th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Kings of the Realm Review
Kings of the Realm Review By Jennifer Allen on September 12th, 2014 Our Rating: :: STANDARD BASE BUILDINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Kings of the Realm offers some handy tweaks, but it’s still the familiar format... | Read more »
Five Nights at Freddy's (Games)
Five Nights at Freddy's 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save $75 on the 16GB iPad mini with Retina Di...
Best Buy has the 16GB iPad mini with Retina Display on sale for $324.99 on their online store for a limited time. Their price is $75 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this mini.... Read more
21-inch 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $979, $120 of...
B&H Photo has the new 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $979.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. B&H will also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished 21-inch 1.4GHz iMa...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 21″ 1.4GHz iMacs for $929 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is $170 off the cost of new models,... Read more
13-inch 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pro on sa...
Adorama has the 13″ 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1379 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for... Read more
Macally iPhone 6 Cases
Macally has introduced a Line of Snap-On Shell Cases, Frame Bumper Cases and a Rugged Protective Case for iPhone 6 with 4.7inch Screen, such as the SNAP case in a variety of brilliant metallic... Read more
Belkin Launches New Accessories iPhone 6 and...
Belkin has unveiled a new collection of products for iPhone 6 and iPhone Plus. Belkin’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus accessories include athletic-inspired armbands, classic phone cases and advanced... Read more
Skinit Debuts Customizable Apple iPhone 6 Cas...
Skinit, pioneer creators of protective personalized solutions for consumer electronic devices, has introduced its new collection of customizable Skinit cases and skins for the new Apple iPhone 6.... Read more
Apple refurbished MacBook Pros available for...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros available starting at $929. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros (4GB RAM/... Read more
Save $200 with Apple refurbished 27-inch Thun...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 27″ Thunderbolt Displays available for $799 including free shipping. That’s $200 off the cost of new models. Read more
Free $25 iTunes gift card with purchase of Ap...
The Apple Store is offering a free $25 iTunes Gift Card with the purchase of a $99 Apple TV for a limited time. Shipping is free. Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.