Apple working on camera technology for upcoming iOS devices
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apple working on camera technology for upcoming iOS devices

Apple is working on technology for upcoming cameras in iPhones, iPod touches, probably the iPad and perhaps other devices. A patent (number 20100238344) for an electronic device having a camera flash redirector has appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office.

An electronic camera device has an imaging sensor to capture an image of a scene, a flash to illuminate the scene for capture by the sensor, and an evaluator to detect a condition in the scene. A redirector shifts the peak of a spatial energy profile of light from the flash. The peak is shifted from being aimed at one region in the scene to being aimed at another region in the scene, in response to the evaluator having detected the condition in the scene. Other embodiments are also described and claimed in the patent. The inventor is Richard Tsai.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "In photography, there has been recognized the need for providing flash illumination, at an angle that is suited to the scene coverage of a zoom lens. A zoom lens is capable of a variable range of focus from telephoto to wide-angle settings. Improved image quality may result if the flash illumination angle or spread about the center optical axis of the flash is adjusted to correspond to the scene coverage angle.

"Thus, at the telephoto setting the flash illumination should be well collimated, while at the wide-angle setting, the flash illumination should be spread over a relatively wide angle about the center axis. In such a camera apparatus, the flash itself may have a variable focus lens that is controlled in response to the focus setting of the zoom lens. This may also be described as a flash beam focuser, which focuses the light from the flash into a smaller or a larger area at the center of the frame (center axis of the flash).

"Yet another flash-based technique that may be used to improve image picture quality in certain situations is to vary the power of the camera flash. Somewhat similar to the flash beam focusing technique described above, a variable flash power mechanism may be used to, for example, decrease the light output of the flash when exposure needs to be decreased (due to the flash being too bright). This technique is similar to the flash beam focuser in that it does not shift the angle of the peak of the spatial energy profile of the flash, relative to the center optical axis of the flash.

"An embodiment of the invention is an electronic camera device having an imaging sensor, a flash to illuminate the scene to be captured by the sensor, and an evaluator to detect a condition in the scene. The camera device also includes a redirector that shifts the peak of the spatial energy profile of light from the flash. The peak is to be shifted from being aimed at one region in the scene to being aimed at another region in the scene, in response to the evaluator having detected the condition in the scene. In other words, the angle of the peak of the spatial energy profile is changed, relative to a center optical axis of the flash, so as to increase illumination of, for example, a detected or selected object in the scene.

"In one embodiment, detection of the condition or object in the scene may be performed automatically, through analysis of images captured by the sensor. In addition, or as an alternative, the evaluator can detect the particular condition in the scene based on the output of one or more scene condition sensor devices in the camera (e.g., ambient light sensor and auto focus sensor devices).

"The combination of the flash and the redirector may be composed of a moveable flash lens system that is coupled to a flash light source element, to redirect light from the flash. The evaluator signals the moveable lens system to automatically move (e.g., pivot about an axis), so as to shift the peak of the spatial energy profile of the light. As an alternative, the combination of the flash and redirector may be implemented as a moveable flash light source element that is optically coupled to a fixed flash lens system, again to redirect light, i.e. change the angle of the peak of the spatial energy profile, in response to being signaled by the evaluator.

"In another embodiment, the camera device may have a touch screen, which allows its user to manually select (via finger touch) a dark or dimly lit object or region in the scene, to be illuminated by the combination flash and redirector. The touch screen functions as a viewfinder, showing the scene before the camera. A selection may be made by the user's finger on the touch screen, which is translated to an object or region in an image of the scene. A mapping is performed between the selected object or region in the scene and the closest available angle to which the flash-redirector may be redirected, to illuminate the selected region when taking the picture. In a particular embodiment, the flash is implemented as an array of focused, but fixed light emitting diode (LED) lamps whose power is modulated or otherwise adjusted so as to illuminate the region of interest in the scene, relative to the rest of the scene (during picture taking).

"One or more of the above described embodiments may help make more efficient use of the limited power and energy that is available in a portable electronic device, by limiting light output of the flash and at the same time directing or redirecting the peak of its spatial energy profile to just a subset of the scene (which may be lacking in sufficient natural light but is the primary region or object of interest in the scene). This capability is particularly desirable when, for example, taking video of a person being interviewed, because of the relatively long time interval during which the flash is turned on in such an application.

"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."

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

The beginner's guide to Warbits
Warbits is a turn-based strategy that's clearly inspired by Nintendo's Advance Wars series. Since turn-based strategy games can be kind of tricky to dive into, see below for a few tips to help you in the beginning. Positioning is crucial [Read... | Read more »
How to upgrade your character in Spellsp...
So you’ve mastered the basics of Spellspire. By which I mean you’ve realised it’s all about spelling things in a spire. What next? Well you’re going to need to figure out how to toughen up your character. It’s all well and good being able to spell... | Read more »
5 slither.io mash-ups we'd love to...
If there's one thing that slither.io has proved, it's that the addictive gameplay of Agar.io can be transplanted onto basically anything and it will still be good fun. It wouldn't be surprising if we saw other developers jumping on the bandwagon,... | Read more »
How to navigate the terrain in Sky Charm...
Sky Charms is a whimsical match-'em up adventure that uses creative level design to really ramp up the difficulty. [Read more] | Read more »
Victorious Knight (Games)
Victorious Knight 1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.3 (iTunes) Description: New challenges awaits you! Experience fresh RPG experience with a unique combat mechanic, packed with high quality 3D... | Read more »
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game (Gam...
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Someone’s been spying on Gumball. What the what?! Two can play at that game! GO UNDERCOVERSneak past enemy... | Read more »
Runaway Toad (Games)
Runaway Toad 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It ain’t easy bein’ green! Tap, hold, and swipe to help Toad hop to safety in this gorgeous new action game from the creators of... | Read more »
PsyCard (Games)
PsyCard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: From the makers och Card City Nights, Progress To 100 and Ittle Dew PSYCARD is a minesweeper-like game set in a cozy cyberpunk... | Read more »
Sago Mini Robot Party (Education)
Sago Mini Robot Party 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: -- Children's Technology Review Editor's Choice -- | Read more »
Egz – The Origin of the Universe (Games...
Egz – The Origin of the Universe 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: ►►► Special offer until 2nd may : get the game at 2.99€ instead of 3.99€ ! ◄◄◄ Egz is a mesmerizing mix... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $649 $50 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $130-$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1169 $130 off MSRP - 13″ 2.7GHz/... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
SanDisk Half-Terabyte SSD Optimized for Every...
SanDisk Corporation has announced the SanDisk Z410 SSD, a cost-competitive, half-terabyte solid state drive (SSD) that enables manufacturers to design for a broad range of desktop PCs and laptops.... Read more
Churchill Downs Racetrack Selects VenueNext t...
Churchill Downs Racetrack has announced an agreement with VenueNext to implement its technology platform for the start of Churchill Downs 2016 Spring Meet, which includes the 142nd running of the... Read more
Record 700 Million Pounds of CE Recycled in 2...
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) reports that a record-setting 700 million pounds of consumer electronics (CE) have been recycled under the eCycling Leadership Initiative (ELI). According to... Read more
Price drops on clearance 12-inch Retina MacBo...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on leftover 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $999. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros available for $20...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Target offers Apple Watch Sport for $50 off M...
Target has Apple Watch Sports on sale for $50 off MSRP for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished Mac mini...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
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.