Apple interested in automatic tilt correction for iPhone camera

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A recently published patent application from Apple reveals the company has looked into a technology that would make use of the iPhone's various sensors to automatically correct for tilt and perspective distortion when taking photos.



Apple's filing with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office is entitled "Image capture device having tilt and/or perspective correction" and describes an invention that would measure distortion using a combination of an orientation measurement, accelerometer data and a "distance measurement device," such as an ultrasonic device. Corrections would occur on-the-fly, or measurements could be stored along with the photo for later correction.



"In some embodiments, the method may include reading an orientation measurement associated with a relative position of an image capture device with respect to an object, determining if the orientation measurement is less than a threshold, and in the event that the orientation measurement is less than the threshold, correcting an image obtained by the image capture device," the application read.



Apple sees the invention as useful because users often find it difficult to steady mobile devices when taking a picture. The filing notes that post-processing is able to correct distortion, but adds that it often requires "sophisticated image processing software and/or a substantial involvement by the user."



Image credit: CNet



The measurements would be stored in the header of the image data for later adjustment. The camera application would display "dynamic crop lines" to allow a user to adjust the distortion. In addition to the use of an ultrasonic device, the application describes the use of GPS data and AF measurements to determine the distance of a photograph's subject.



Apple notes that the patent has "broad applications" and could apply to desktops and "wristwatches with integrated cameras," in addition to portable electronic devices such as cameras or cell phones. The filing also extends the invention to apply to moving images and/or video, though the bulk of the invention's description relates to still images.



Apple first filed for the patent on Dec. 22, 2009. The invention is credited to Jason Chen, Brandon Slack and David Simon.



Earlier this year, the USPTO revealed a patent application that detailed a 3D picture taking system utilizing multiple rear-facing cameras on a device like an iPhone.



Apple's iPhone 4 recently surpassed popular digital SLR models from Nikon and Canon to become the most popular camera on the Flickr photo sharing service. Actually, the iPhone likely passed up other cameras months ago, as Flickr has admitted that it is unable to accurately label all iPhone photos, especially ones submitted by third-party services such as Instagram.



The growing popularity of the iPhone camera has attracted the attention of giants in the photography and camera industry. Kodak sued Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion last year over a patent for previewing images.



The U.S. International Trade Commission was scheduled to rule on the Kodak and Apple case on Friday, but the federal agency has postponed the decision until next week. Kodak has said the royalties from a ruling in its favor could amount to more than $1 billion.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    wurm5150wurm5150 Posts: 763member
    Jason Chen works for Apple?
  • Reply 2 of 20
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,055member
    http://noisetech-software.com/Perspectives.html



    I use it as a test bed for things.
  • Reply 3 of 20
    harbingerharbinger Posts: 570member
    The tower of Pisa will finally be straightened.
  • Reply 4 of 20
    harbingerharbinger Posts: 570member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    Apple's iPhone 4 recently surpassed popular digital SLR models from Nikon and Canon to become the most popular camera on the Flickr photo sharing service. Actually, the iPhone likely passed up other cameras months ago, as Flickr has admitted that it is unable to accurately label all iPhone photos, especially ones submitted by third-party services such as Instagram.




    I don't understand - if the iPhone is the most popular camera already, why would it "likely pass up (sic) other cameras"? Isn't that a given?
  • Reply 5 of 20
    Ultimate trolling: Waiting for any Apple updates from the patents website just to fuel new speculation and get more hits.
  • Reply 6 of 20
    mrmj2umrmj2u Posts: 34member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Harbinger View Post


    I don't understand - if the iPhone is the most popular camera already, why would it "likely pass up (sic) other cameras"? Isn't that a given?



    Re-read what you quoted... It says that it likely passed(past tense) up those other cameras months ago.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Apple is working on a Dick Tracy communicator! A wrist watch that has ALL the functions of an iPhone 4 and more! Didn't you read that? I bet it is released in September and that's the real reason for iOS 5, yeah! and boy is Apple's stock gonna tank if they miss this one!
  • Reply 8 of 20
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NinjaBladeMastery View Post


    Ultimate trolling: Waiting for any Apple updates from the patents website just to fuel new speculation and get more hits.



    Well, they got you, didn't they? How's it going, victim?
  • Reply 9 of 20
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrmj2u View Post


    Re-read what you quoted... It says that it likely passed(past tense) up those other cameras months ago.



    I have. The sentence makes little sense in multiple ways. How does a phone pass "up" a camera"? And the tense is wrong. Sigh ...
  • Reply 10 of 20
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post


    Apple is working on a Dick Tracy communicator! A wrist watch that has ALL the functions of an iPhone 4 and more! Didn't you read that? I bet it is released in September and that's the real reason for iOS 5, yeah! and boy is Apple's stock gonna tank if they miss this one!



    That'd be cool. But I wonder how practical? It would be great if we can use multiple devices for a single phone number, without transferring SIM. Then having a Nano wristwatch as a second phone would be worthwhile.
  • Reply 11 of 20
    joseph ljoseph l Posts: 197member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The growing popularity of the iPhone camera has attracted the attention of giants in the photography and camera industry.



    With innovations like this, Steve will do to the camera industry the same as what he did to the MP3 industry and the music industry and the tablet computer industry and the book publishing industry and the phone industry.



    In other words, totally and completely dominate in every respect.



    Keep it up guys! We're rooting for you!
  • Reply 12 of 20
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A recently published patent application from Apple reveals the company has looked into a technology that would make use of the iPhone's various sensors to automatically correct for tilt and perspective distortion when taking photos.



    As long as this is optional, I don't care. But I'm tired of every electronic device from my microwave to my car's computer to my @#%&; blackberry (4 months left on contract, and counting!) "assuming" what I want and correcting it that way. It takes me more effort to *actually* get what I want than if these "helpful aides" were there in the first place.
  • Reply 13 of 20
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    I have. The sentence makes little sense in multiple ways. How does a phone pass "up" a camera"? And the tense is wrong. Sigh ...



    AI writers frequently use idioms I am unfamiliar with, or use them in ways I've not seen or heard before. I often don't know what to think of them. In this case, the "up" is unnecessary and I think it is clearer without it.
  • Reply 14 of 20
    The thing that scares me a bit with this is that we'd need the sensors to be perfectly calibrated. I don't know about you, but my 3GS is a bit off with what it considers to be perfectly level. It's only a degree or so, but I wouldn't want all my photos to be "corrected," only to find them slightly tilted because the sensor isn't perfect.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GordLacey View Post


    The thing that scares me a bit with this is that we'd need the sensors to be perfectly calibrated. I don't know about you, but my 3GS is a bit off with what it considers to be perfectly level. It's only a degree or so, but I wouldn't want all my photos to be "corrected," only to find them slightly tilted because the sensor isn't perfect.



    So it is possible to calibrate the accelerometers and get very good results. My app carries different calibrations for each orientation.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Harbinger View Post


    I don't understand - if the iPhone is the most popular camera already, why would it "likely pass up (sic) other cameras"? Isn't that a given?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrmj2u View Post


    Re-read what you quoted... It says that it likely passed(past tense) up those other cameras months ago.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    I have. The sentence makes little sense in multiple ways. How does a phone pass "up" a camera"? And the tense is wrong. Sigh ...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    AI writers frequently use idioms I am unfamiliar with, or use them in ways I've not seen or heard before. I often don't know what to think of them. In this case, the "up" is unnecessary and I think it is clearer without it.



    The sentence is fine. "Pass up" is a perfectly common term for exceed. AI is simply saying that, while the iPhone has recently been declared the most prominent camera on Flickr, it may have achieved that status (by "passing up" its rivals) even earlier due to some uncertainty in how these devices identify themselves.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    The sentence is fine. "Pass up" is a perfectly common term for exceed. AI is simply saying that, while the iPhone has recently been declared the most prominent camera on Flickr, it may have achieved that status (by "passing up" its rivals) even earlier due to some uncertainty in how these devices identify themselves.



    I think we kind of got it eventually, but the relatively obscure usage is a stumbling block to clear communication.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I think we kind of got it eventually, but the relatively obscure usage is a stumbling block to clear communication.



    Maybe it depends on where or when you were raised? I've never thought "pass up" was in any way obscure or unusual, although I guess it's relatively idiomatic.



    I'd be interested in hearing what part of the country people are from and roughly how old to see if that correlates with familiarity with this particular usage. I'm from the South and over 40, myself.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Maybe it depends on where or when you were raised? I've never thought "pass up" was in any way obscure or unusual, although I guess it's relatively idiomatic.



    I'd be interested in hearing what part of the country people are from and roughly how old to see if that correlates with familiarity with this particular usage. I'm from the South and over 40, myself.



    I'm from the midwest and a little bit younger. I'm not just drawing from local experience, I've never seen it before on the Internet either. We get people from seemingly everywhere in the world here, and other web sites and forums with global representation as well.



    I try to avoid idiomatic expressions because of the potential for confusion. I have private dealings with people all over the world, and forum members hail from just about everywhere in the world. Idioms start sounding lazy after a while and it often confuses those that don't know the expression, especially when their understanding of English is limited.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    tuvetuve Posts: 1member
    I have writen a camera app that does this and a lot more http://www.dotfunc.com/
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