Apple toying with multi-camera 3D imagery for iDevices

By on April 3, 2011
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Patent reveals Apple’s new hardware-based trickery that is a “paradigm shift” from software-based “guesses”.

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No one has been able to escape from the buzz and hype surrounding the 3D technology. It has invaded our movies (thanks a lot Cameron), our gaming, and soon our pictures and videos as well. Apple has also been winded up with the hoolapa behind the tech and is peaking a interest with a patent filed by the company that shows a hardware-based application that should, apparently, create better, higher quality 3D pictures from current software-based methods.

AppleInsider has found a new patent filed by Apple to the US Patent offices, entitled “Systems and Methods for an Imaging System Using Multiple Image Sensors.” According to the filing, the application from Apple is described as a “paradigm shift from the known software-based approaches.”

Currently, cameras uses software to “guess” at how to perform stereo disparity compensation for 3D images. This results in lower quality images with artifacts on the composed 3D image. However, Apple’s method would instead use a hardware-based approach with a “deterministic calculation for stereo disparity compensation.” In other, more understandable words, the hardware will use multiple cameras that will capture separate luma, chrome and depth/distance images that can be then converted into a single, 3D picture.

Apple’s new system would also be able to record videos in 3D as well.


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Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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