3D Technologies for Cameras

The digital camera market has reached saturation and camera makers need to introduce new features and capabilities to stimulate growth. 3D technology is an excellent candidate to drive sales of new cameras. There are currently a very large number of 3D TVs as well as 3D PC monitors in households and this number is expected to continue growing rapidly in the upcoming years. However, there is currently very limited 3D content available for consumers to enjoy. The premise of 3DMedia's technology is to solve the problem of 3D content generation by enabling digital camera makers to quickly introduce cost-effective 3D-capable models that consumers can use to capture and create their own 3D photos and videos. We believe that this technology will be one of the key enablers for the proliferation and adoption of 3D content in the consumer market.

ViewFusion 1C is a software solution that can be embedded in any digital camera to enable 3D still photography. It enables users to easily capture and create 3D photos using existing cameras. ViewFusion 1C offers a very good alternative to dual-sensor/lens 3D cameras where the cost of adding a second sensor/lens increases cost and reduces the photo quality and functionality of 2D photos. This is because a lesser quality camera/lens has to be used to fit the two cameras on the camera body.  Dual-camera products also do not quite match the market requirements today since the majority of pictures taken by consumers in the near future will still be in 2D. Therefore, the ideal product for today’s market is a transition product that enables 3D photography without compromising 2D quality and features. ViewFusion 1C provides this capability.  

The process of creating a 3D photo using the ViewFusion 1C technology in a standard camera is easy and straightforward:

1.    User takes the first photo of a scene

2.    User moves the camera a predetermined distance to the right

3.    A second picture is taken automatically

4.    The 3D creation process is then initiated in the camera to create a 3D photo

One of the main advantages of ViewFusion 1C capture technology is that it can calculate the ideal distance at which the camera needs to be positioned to take the second photo and create a very pleasing 3D experience. In addition, it can monitor in real-time the movement of the camera by utilizing high-precision image processing methods, so that when the camera is at the target position the second photo can be taken automatically. Here is how it works:

The ViewFusion Creation process then takes the two captured 2D photos and creates a single 3D photo. It performs a series of image processing steps to correct for vertical shift, as well as rotation and tilt between the two photos in all dimensions. Finally, it performs a series of post-processing steps to adjust and optimize various stereoscopic parameters to increase the comfort level and generate a high-quality, fully-immersive 3D photo.

3DMedia's Technology Advantages

·         Manufacturers can create 3D-enabled cameras using existing platforms (no need for dual sensors)

·         Users can capture both 2D and 3D photos using a simple and straightforward process which is very similar on how panoramic photos are taken

·         The variable distance between the positions at which the two photos are taken  allows for proper creation of 3D photos whether a user is photographing a faraway landscape scene or close-up objects

·         The technology has been proven in several cameras in the market

Although ViewFusion 1C provides a good value, it has two limitations: the first is that it does not support 3D video, and the second is that it cannot create 3D photos when objects in the scene move since it requires two pictures to be taken at different times. Our ViewFusion 1.5C technology removes both these limitations, and supports both 3D video and 3D photos with moving objects.

 

ViewFusion 1.5C utilizes the main camera and very small /inexpensive auxiliary camera to create 3D instead of the classic dual-camera approach. With ViewFusion 1.5C camera manufacturers can design high-quality 3D products at prices consumers can afford. Examples of how this technology can be embedded in various types of camera bodies are shown below:

ViewFusion 1.5C utilizes image data from the main and auxiliary sensors to create a new secondary image that has better quality than the original. The ViewFusion Creation operation is then applied to the main and adjusted secondary image to create a 3D photo. In addition, ViewFusion 1.5C technology with the auxiliary sensor can augment the functionality of the camera by facilitating other 2D functions:

1.    The auxiliary sensor can be used to capture a photo at a different exposure than the main sensor to generate a High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) photo

2.    The auxiliary sensor can be used to implement motion de-blurring when capturing a 2D photo

3.    The auxiliary sensor can assist in implementing better motion stabilization

3DMedia's Technology Advantages

·         Manufacturers can design cameras supporting both 3D video and 3D still photos without significantly increasing the Bill Of Materials

·         Cameras with ViewFusion 1.5C can be marketed not as 3D cameras, but as featured 2D cameras with 3D support along with other 2D functions, such as HDR, stabilization, de-blurring, etc.