Sunday, February 14, 2016

Apple Reality Augmentation and MicroVision

This was sent to me a couple of days ago when I was unable to respond to it. 

That Apple has been working on Virtual and Augmented reality devices has been all over the tech press. That MicroVision is listed in those patents about those devices you've learned on a couple of message boards and here.

This is another case of having tomorrow's paper a day early.

It is interesting that they mention the IR projector in this case. This was something demonstrated at the suite at CES - MicroVision has a very cool IR projector that does 3D scanning. My knowledge of it is very limited, but I did see it in action scanning various objects -- I do not know if this patent is referring to the MicroVision projector/scanner or not. ( I know very little about it, except that the kind of technology they showed is going to be required to do Augmented reality and place imagery in the right places.)

Clearly, Apple is well aware of MicroVision -- more so than the general public.

Adaptive Projector 

Embodiments of the invention provide apparatus and methods for interactive reality augmentation, including a 2-dimensional camera and a 3-dimensional camera, associated depth projector and content projector, and a processor linked to the 3-dimensional camera and the 2-dimensional camera. A depth map of the scene is produced using an output of the 3-dimensional camera, and coordinated with a 2-dimensional image captured by the 2-dimensional camera to identify a 3-dimensional object in the scene that meets predetermined criteria for projection of images thereon. The content projector projects a content image onto the 3-dimensional object responsively to instructions of the processor, which can be mediated by automatic recognition of user gestures

Inventors:Maizels; Aviad(Ramat Hasharon, IL) ; Shpunt; Alexander(Portola Valley, CA) ; Berliner; Tamir(Beit Hashmonay, IL)




Family ID:1000001472634
Appl. No.:14/922222
Filed:October 26, 2015

[0031] A suitable unit for use in the system 10 that bundles the 3-D camera 12 and the 2-D camera 14 is the PrimeSensor.TM. Reference Design, available from PrimeSense Corporation, 104 Cambay Ct, Cary N.C., 27513, U.S.A. The content projector 16 may be the PicoP.RTM. display engine, available from MicroVision, Inc., 6222 185th Ave NE Redmond Wash., 98052. In some embodiments, the 3-D camera 12 and the 2-D camera 14 may be integral with the content projector 16 as a modification of the PrimeSensor Reference Design. In one embodiment, the 3-D camera 12 is an integrated module that includes an IR projector, which projects a pattern of spots onto the object and captures an image of the projected pattern. Alternatively, the IR projector, may be embodied as a separate module (not shown). The IR projector may be realized according to the teachings of U.S. Provisional Applications 61/372,729 (filed Aug. 11, 2010) and 61/425,788 (filed Dec. 22, 2010), as well as in PCT International Publication WO 2010/020380, all of which are herein incorporated by reference. These provisional and PCT applications also teach how to reuse the scanning hardware to project both the IR required for depth mapping and the visible content. 

[0074] This embodiment is similar to the first embodiment, except a convenient virtual surface is provided for projection of images and for access by the user. Reference is now made to FIG. 5, which illustrates a screen 136, typically of a mobile information device 138, such as a cellular telephone, e.g., a "smart phone" that is projected onto a virtual surface in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Such devices are too small for convenient interaction and media consumption. The screen 136 incorporates a miniature projector 140 and sensing device 142, which have the same functions as the 3-D camera 12 and content projector 16 in the embodiment of FIG. 1. Projectors suitable for this purpose are available, for example, from Microvision. In this embodiment, the projector 140 projects an image onto a virtual projection surface 144, which is enlarged relative to the screen 136. 

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