Omni-focus camera focuses near and far simultaneously

Researchers at the University of Toronto, have developed an Omni-focus Video Camera, based on a distance-mapping principle, that delivers automatic real-time focus of both near and far field images, simultaneously.

May 25th, 2010

Researchers at the University of Toronto (Toronto, ON, Canada), have developed an Omni-focus Video Camera, based on a distance-mapping principle, that delivers automatic real-time focus of both near and far field images, simultaneously.

Inventor and principal investigator of the Omni-focus video camera, Keigo Iizuka of The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, explains that, "the intensity of a point source decays with the inverse square of the distance of propagation. This variation with distance has proven to be large enough to provide depth mapping with high resolution. What's more, by using two point sources at different locations, the distance of the object can be determined without the influence of its surface texture."


This principle led Iizuka to invent a novel distance-mapping camera, the Divergence-ratio Axi-vision Camera, abbreviated "Divcam," which is a key component of the new Omni-focus Video Camera. The Omni-focus Video Camera is produced in collaboration with consulting investigator David Wilkes, president of Wilkes Associates. It contains an array of color video cameras, each focused at a different distance, and an integrated Divcam.

The Divcam maps distance information for every pixel in the scene in real time. A software-based pixel correspondence utility, using prior intellectual property invented by Wilkes, then uses the distance information to select individual pixels from the ensemble of outputs of the color video cameras, and generates the final "omni-focused" single-video image.

Posted by Vision Systems Design

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