Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20060204232 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/335,156
Publication dateSep 14, 2006
Filing dateJan 19, 2006
Priority dateFeb 1, 2005
Also published asUS7720376, US20090154910, WO2006083563A2, WO2006083563A3
Publication number11335156, 335156, US 2006/0204232 A1, US 2006/204232 A1, US 20060204232 A1, US 20060204232A1, US 2006204232 A1, US 2006204232A1, US-A1-20060204232, US-A1-2006204232, US2006/0204232A1, US2006/204232A1, US20060204232 A1, US20060204232A1, US2006204232 A1, US2006204232A1
InventorsHarvey Weinberg, Christophe Lemaire, Howard Samuels, Michael Judy
Original AssigneeHarvey Weinberg, Christophe Lemaire, Howard Samuels, Michael Judy
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Camera with acceleration sensor
US 20060204232 A1
Abstract
A method and system for determining camera positioning information from an accelerometer mounted on a camera. The accelerometer measures the orientation of the camera with respect to gravity. Orientation measurement allows user interface information to be displayed in a “right side up” orientation on a viewfinder for any camera orientation. Alternatively, an artificial horizon indicator may be displayed in the viewfinder. The accelerometer may also measure camera movement. Camera movement information together with camera orientation can be used to determine camera usage. Additionally, camera movement information can be used to determine a minimum shutter speed for a sharp picture.
Images(11)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(12)
1. A method for aligning a camera to the Earth's horizon, the method comprising:
a. providing the camera having a viewfinder display and an accelerometer for determining camera orientation with respect to gravity;
b. determining an orientation of the camera with respect to gravity using the accelerometer; and
c. displaying an artificial horizon indicator on the viewfinder display based on the determined orientation of the camera.
2. A method according to claim 1 further comprising:
d. aligning the camera with respect to the earth's surface using the artificial horizon indicator on the viewfinder display.
3. A method according to claim 1 further comprising:
d. displaying an reference indicator for the camera on the viewfinder display to aid in aligning the camera with respect to the earth's surface.
4. A method for orienting icons displayed in a camera image comprising:
a. providing a camera, the camera including an accelerometer for determining an orientation of the camera with respect to gravity and a viewfinder display;
b. determining an orientation of the camera with respect to gravity using the accelerometer; and
c. displaying a given icon on an image produced by the camera, wherein the given icon's orientation is based at least in part on the determination of the orientation of the camera using the accelerometer.
5. A method according to claim 4, where the image produced by the camera is displayed on the viewfinder display.
6. A method according to claim 4, wherein displaying the given icon on an image produced by the camera includes printing the icon on a printed image.
7. A method for adjusting image exposure time for a camera to reduce movement-induced image blurring,
a. providing the camera, the camera including an accelerometer;
b. measuring a peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude using the accelerometer for a given time duration; and
c. adjusting the image exposure time based at least in part on the peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude over the given time duration.
8. A method according to claim 8, wherein adjusting the image exposure time includes calculating a minimum shutter speed.
9. A method according to claim 9, wherein the minimum shutter speed is calculated as a function of the square of the inverse of the peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude divided by the camera focal length.
10. A method according to claim 4 wherein adjusting the image exposure time includes looking up a minimum shutter speed versus the peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude over the given time duration in a look-up table.
11. A method for determining a state of utilization for a camera comprising:
a. providing the camera, the camera including an accelerometer for determining an orientation of the camera with respect to gravity and a peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude over a given duration;
b. determining an orientation of the camera using the accelerometer;
c. determining a peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude over a given duration using the accelerometer;
d. identifying the state of utilization for the camera based at least in part on the camera orientation determination and the peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude over a given duration.
12. A method according to claim 6 further including:
e. placing the camera in a lower power state based on the state of utilization.
Description
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/648,780, filed Feb. 1, 2005, entitled “CAMERA WITH ACCELERATION SENSOR” and bearing attorney docket number 2550/A59, the disclosure of which application is incorporated herein by reference
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The invention generally relates to cameras and, more particularly, the invention relates to detecting motion of a camera.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0003]
    In many cases, it is desirable to know the orientation of a camera. A digital camera, for example, could use this information to store the image such that it displays “right side up” on a computer display. Ball and cage type mechanical switches can be used to ascertain orientation, but they have reliability problems.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0004]
    In accordance with embodiments of the invention, a digital camera includes an accelerometer mounted on the camera. The accelerometer measures camera movement and/or orientation. In various embodiments of the invention, this information can be used to:
      • display an artificial horizon indicator on a viewfinder to aid in orienting the camera;
      • display icons on the viewfinder in a “right side up” orientation according to the camera's orientation;
      • use camera movement information to determine a minimum shutter speed, to reduce motion-induced picture blurring; and
      • use camera movement and orientation to determine if a camera is in use; such “in-use” information can be used, for example, to power down an idle camera or to power-up a camera that is about to be used.
  • [0009]
    In one embodiment, the accelerometer provides orientation information for the camera with respect to the earth's gravity. This orientation information allows an artificial horizon indicator to be displayed on an image on a display surface, such as a viewfinder display attached to the camera. The user views the artificial horizon indicator and may realign the camera based on the relationship between the image and the indicator.
  • [0010]
    In another embodiment of the invention, the accelerometer provides orientation information for the camera with respect to the earth's gravity. Icons consisting of text and/or graphics are displayed on an image produced by the camera in a “right side up” orientation based on the camera orientation information received from the accelerometer. The image may be displayed on a viewfinder display or on a printed image of a picture.
  • [0011]
    A further embodiment of the invention adjusts image exposure time for a camera to reduce movement-induced image blurring. An accelerometer mounted to the camera provides acceleration information. The information is stored and peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude is calculated for the most recent time period. When picture taking is initiated, a minimum shutter speed is calculated as a function of the peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude over the most recent time period and the focal length of the camera. The exposure time of the picture may be adjusted accordingly.
  • [0012]
    Another embodiment of the invention determines if a camera is in use using camera orientation and camera movement information calculated from the outputs of the accelerometer. If a camera is determined not to be in use, elements of the camera can be placed in a low-power state and reenergized when the camera usage changes.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0013]
    The foregoing features of the invention will be more readily understood by reference to the following detailed description, taken with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
  • [0014]
    FIG. 1A shows a simplified perspective view of the front of a camera, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 1B shows a plan view of the rear of the camera of FIG. 1A;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 2A shows schematically typical accelerometer outputs for two orientations of the camera of FIG. 1;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 2B shows possible orientation of the camera body vector relative to earth's gravity vector for orienting text and graphics, according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 3 schematically shows a circuit for controlling a camera according to embodiments of the present invention;
  • [0019]
    FIG. 4 illustrates right-side-up graphics on a camera viewfinder, generated by an embodiment of the invention;
  • [0020]
    FIG. 5 is a flow diagram for an illustrative method of using orientation information to display “right side up” graphics on a picture image, according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • [0021]
    FIG. 6 illustrates display of an artificial horizon indicator to aid in framing a picture, according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • [0022]
    FIG. 7 is a flow diagram for an illustrative method of using orientation information to create an artificial horizon indicator on a display to aid in framing a picture, according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • [0023]
    FIG. 8 is a flow diagram for a method of using vibration data to determine minimum shutter speed, according to an embodiment of the invention; and
  • [0024]
    FIG. 9 is a flow diagram for a method of using orientation and vibration data to determine when a camera is in use, according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS
  • [0025]
    In various embodiments of the invention, an accelerometer can be used to determine the static orientation of a camera by measuring the direction of the earth gravity's (gravity vector) relative to the camera body. Other embodiments of the invention use an accelerometer to detect the dynamic movement of a camera. Orientation and/or dynamic movement information for a camera enable a variety of functions. Several such functions are discussed below in separate sections.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 1A is a simplified perspective view of the front of an exemplary camera 10, according to an embodiment of the invention. The camera 10 includes a lens 12 with a lens aperture 14. A viewfinder window 16 allows a user to frame a picture. Pressing a shutter switch 18 initiates picture taking. FIG. 1B shows a plan view of the rear of the camera. The user looks into the viewfinder window 16 and adjusts the camera's orientation to frame the picture. Alternatively, the user may look at a viewfinder display screen 18 on the back of the camera to frame the picture. In this description and in any appended claims, a “viewfinder,” “viewfinder window” or a “viewfinder display” shall mean any visual display employed in a camera to aid in framing a picture. Mounted in the camera body may be a circuit board 22 which contains processing logic (e.g., microprocessor, ASICs, etc.) to control camera functions. Also mounted internal to the camera body is one or more accelerometers 20 to allow camera orientation and/or movement to be determined. The accelerometer may be a microelectromechanical system (“MEMS”) device or another type of accelerometer capable of measurement of orientation or movement, as needed for each of the functions described below. As will be apparent, the accelerometer may be a dual-axis device, or a plurality of single-axis accelerometers may be used. FIG. 2A shows a coordinate system applied to the camera of FIGS. 1A-1B. Earth's gravity is shown as a gravity vector 11 in the coordinate system, aligned along the “Y” axis. A “camera body vector” 28 is shown which is perpendicular to the long dimension of the camera. In exemplary embodiments, the orientation of the camera body vector 28 relative to the gravity vector 11 is determined from the outputs of the accelerometer.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a circuit for controlling the camera 10 of FIGS. 1A and 1B, according to an embodiment of the invention. The outputs of accelerometer 20 are voltage levels, Ax 21 and Ay 22, whose values correspond the magnitude of the acceleration along “X” and “Y” axes, respectively. These accelerometer outputs are input to analog-to-digital converters 32 (“A/D”), which quantize the signals. The A/D output 34 is input to processing logic 30. The processing logic 30 may take a variety of forms, as are known in the art, including a microprocessor with memory and a stored program together with appropriate interface circuitry. Alternatively, the processing logic may take the form of dedicated logic elements (“ASIC”) or the processing logic may be a mix of a microprocessor with dedicated logic elements. The output of a shutter switch 20 is input to the processing logic to allow a user to initiate picture taking. The processing logic provides outputs signals to control the shutter 34, to control the lens aperture 35, and to generate displays on the viewfinder 36 and on a viewfinder display screen 37, 18. The processing logic may also provide a variety of power conditioning outputs 38 to functional elements of the camera to put individual elements into a low power state. The display on the viewfinder and on the display window may be formed by combining text and graphics generated by the processing logic with the output of an image sensor, as is known in the art. In other embodiments of the invention, the circuit elements for controlling the camera may take on other forms that provide similar functionality. Other embodiments of the invention may not have every element shown in FIG. 3. For example, if the camera does not include a viewfinder display screen 18 on the back of the camera, the processing logic need not provide an output 37 to it.
  • [0028]
    User Interface Orientation
  • [0029]
    In a first embodiment of the invention, accelerometer(s) 20 help determine the orientation of the camera with respect to earth's gravity. Based upon this determination, text and graphics information that is normally overlaid on an image in the viewfinder, or on another display, can be automatically rotated to be “right side up” to the user, as the camera is oriented in various directions. An example is shown in FIG. 4. Camera 10 in the leftmost instance 40 is oriented in the portrait mode and the caption 44 in the viewfinder is oriented so that the text is upright for the longer dimension of the picture. When the camera is rotated 90 degrees, to the landscape mode, as shown in the middle instance 41, the caption in the viewfinder 46 is rotated to be upright for the shorter dimension of the picture. When the camera is rotated an additional 90 degrees, the caption 48 is again shown upright for the longer dimension of the picture 42. Note that the captions 44, 48 for the leftmost instance 40 and the rightmost instance 42 have opposite orientations with respect to the camera body, but the same orientation with respect to the image. This occurs because the camera body is rotated 180 degrees between the leftmost and rightmost instances. In specific embodiments of the invention, captions such as the date and time can be added to the image captured by the camera and the caption can be oriented so that it is “right side up.” That is, the caption on the image may be oriented so that it is opposite to the direction of the gravity vector for the camera's orientation, (i.e., pointing in an approximately vertical direction). Note that the camera's orientation (long dimension) will not, in general, align with the gravity vector (as in the leftmost instance in FIG. 3) or perpendicular to it (as in the middle instance in FIG. 3). For such intermediate situations, in embodiments of the invention, the caption will be oriented so that it is most nearly right side up.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 5 shows a flow diagram 500 for user interface orientation according to an embodiment of the invention. Outputs Ax 21, Ay 22 of the accelerometers 20 are sampled 510 to determine the orientation of the camera body vector 28 with respect to the earth's gravity vector 11. An accelerometer(s) capable of measuring static (non-varying) accelerations along two axes is used. The angle θ between the camera body vector 28 and the gravity vector 11 is given by:
    θ=Arc tan((Ay−Ay o)/(Ax−Ax o))   (1)
  • [0031]
    (The output of the accelerometer along each axis has previously been calibrated for reference orientations of the camera body vector with respect to the gravity vector, yielding values of Axo and Ayo. Axo is the value along the x-axis when the camera body vector is aligned, as shown in the upper drawing in FIG. 2A; Ayo is the value for the y-axis for alignment of camera body vector 28 perpendicular to the gravity vector, as shown in the lower drawing in FIG. 2).
  • [0032]
    The orientation of the camera body vector 28 with respect to the gravity vector 11 is resolved 520 into one of four quadrants (24, 25, 26, 27) shown in FIG. 2B. Text and graphics are then oriented 530, 540 as follows on the display:
    Quadrant Text Alignment
    25 Landscape mode; right side up text is
    opposite to camera body vector
    26 Portrait mode; right side up text is
    perpendicular to camera body vector and
    rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise from
    quadrant 25 text.
    27 Landscape mode; right side up text is aligned
    with camera body vector
    24 Portrait mode; right side up text is
    perpendicular to camera body vector and
    opposite to quadrant 26 text direction

    Text and graphics captions are rendered 530, 540 in the viewfinder display (e.g., 44, 46, 48) with the orientation so that it most nearly matches the direction that is upright (i.e., opposite to the direction of the gravity vector). The process is repeated 550 so that as the camera body is reoriented, the orientation of the text and graphic captions in the viewfinder display track the orientation of the camera with respect to the gravity vector. In specific embodiments of the invention, this process is repeated at a set time interval.
  • [0033]
    Artificial Horizon Display
  • [0034]
    A further embodiment of the invention produces an artificial horizon display in the camera viewfinder based upon the gravity vector 11. The artificial horizon enables the picture to be framed so that one edge is parallel to the surface of the Earth. As shown in FIG. 6, for example, an “artificial horizon” indicator 64 can be displayed in the viewfinder display 60 as a dashed line to aid the user in framing the photograph. The user can then rotate the camera to align the artificial horizon indicator 64 with the subject. Of course, the “artificial horizon” indicator can be reoriented in the viewfinder based on the gross orientation of the camera (portrait or landscape), as determined from the accelerometer outputs. This determination would be similar to that shown above for the “user interface orientation” embodiment of the invention.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 7 shows a flow diagram 700 for display of an artificial horizon on a camera viewfinder display according an embodiment of the invention. Outputs Ax 21, Ay 22 of the accelerometers 20 are sampled 710 to determine the orientation of the camera body with respect to the earth's gravity vector 11. The same accelerometer arrangement and calculations 720 may be used to determine camera body vector 28 orientation relative to the earth's gravity vector 11, as described above for the “right-side up” caption display embodiment of the invention. An artificial horizon vector 64 is rendered 730 on the camera viewfinder display as a dashed line based on the determined camera orientation. A reference vector 62 aligned with the viewfinder edge, may also be displayed to aid in framing the picture. Note that the misalignment of the two vectors is exaggerated in FIG. 6 to illustrate the concept. The process is repeated 740 so that as the camera body moves, the orientation of the artificial horizon vector in the viewfinder display tracks the orientation of the camera with respect to the gravity vector. In specific embodiments of the invention, the repetition rate of the process may be determined by a time interval. In other embodiments of the invention, the display of the artificial horizon may take other forms besides a vector. All such displays are intended to be within the scope of the present invention and will be referred to below, including in the appended claims as an “artificial horizon indicator.”
  • [0036]
    Shutter Speed Control
  • [0037]
    Sharp photographs generally require that the camera not move during exposure. The ability to hold a camera steady, however, varies a great deal from person to person. In some cases, such as when on a moving vehicle, even an experienced photographer may not be able to hold a camera very steady. In illustrative embodiments of the invention, camera vibration is used as one input (along with lighting conditions) to determine image exposure values. An accelerometer mounted to a camera measures the vibration (i.e., acceleration variation) experienced by the camera for a few hundred milliseconds before exposure to determine an appropriate minimum shutter speed to ensure a sharp picture. The peak-to-peak acceleration is used along with the focal length of the lens to determine the minimum shutter speed allowable. In a specific embodiment of the invention:
    minimum shutter speed=(0.5/peak-to-peak acceleration)2/(focal length)   (2)
    For example, with a 20 mm focal length and 0.5 m/s2 of vibration, the minimum shutter speed would be 1/20 second. In some embodiments of the invention, a table of minimum shutter speeds is calculated according to equation (2) and a table look-up can then be performed to determine minimum shutter speed.
  • [0038]
    As shown in FIG. 3, according to an embodiment of the invention, the outputs of an accelerometer are connected to the input of an analog-to-digital (“A/D”) converter 32. The output of the A/D converter is connected to processing logic 30. In this embodiment of the invention, the accelerometer needs to measure dynamic acceleration, but need not measure orientation. As shown in the flow diagram of FIG. 8 800, the processing logic 30 periodically receives 810 the outputs of the A ID converter 32 and stores the A/D converter outputs and time of observation 820. When picture taking is initiated, 830, the peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude is calculated 840 for the preceding time interval based on the stored accelerometer values. Values older than the most recent time interval may be discarded. The minimum shutter speed, 850, 860 is then determined from equation 2.
  • [0039]
    In some embodiments, the peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude is calculated for more than one axis. The larger of the values of peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude for the respective axes is then used for the minimum shutter speed calculations. In preferred embodiments of the invention, the time interval over which the peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude is determined may range from about 100 milliseconds to about 500 milliseconds.
  • [0040]
    Camera Use Detector
  • [0041]
    Other embodiments of the invention use accelerometers to determine if a camera is in use. For example, a camera oriented such that the lens is pointing up and experiencing very little vibration is likely set on a table and is not about to take a picture. To that end, such embodiments use an accelerometer to measure the orientation of the camera and to measure vibration. These measurements are used to determine whether the camera is in use. The determination of camera use, in turn, can be used to perform tasks to improve camera function, such as reducing power consumption.
  • [0042]
    In an embodiment of the invention, the orientation of the camera and peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude over a given duration are determined, as described in connection with the preceding embodiments of the invention. These values are then used to determine camera use. An exemplary algorithm for determining camera use is shown in FIG. 9. First accelerometer outputs are read 910. In this embodiment, accelerometers to determine static acceleration (orientation) and dynamic acceleration Ax, Ay, Az along three orthogonal axes are provided. In other embodiments less than three axes may be sensed. The absolute magnitude along an axis aligned with the camera lens, Az, is measured 920 to determine if the magnitude is approximately equal to one g. If it is not, then the camera is not face up or face down, and the peak-to-peak magnitude of the acceleration (vibration) for the preceding ten seconds is compared to 15 mg. If vibration exceeds 15 mg, the camera is determined to be in use. The accelerometer outputs are then read again 910 and the process repeated. If the absolute magnitude along an axis aligned with the camera lens, Az, is approximately equal to one g 920, then the camera is face up or face down. The peak-to-peak magnitude of the acceleration (vibration) for the preceding three seconds is compared 930 to 15 mg. If vibration exceeds 15 mg, the camera is determined to be in use. The accelerometer outputs will the be read again 910 and the process repeated. If the vibration is less than 15 mg, then the camera is determined to be idle and the camera may enter 950 a “sleep” mode. In sleep mode, the accelerometer outputs are measured periodically 960. If the vibration equals or exceeds 50 mg, the camera has been picked up and the camera enters a “wake-up” state 980. The process then repeats 910. The values for vibration magnitude and duration in this algorithm are provided for example only, and not by way of limitation. Other time duration thresholds and vibration magnitude thresholds may be used in other embodiments of the invention. In embodiments of the invention, when the camera enters the sleep mode 950, as described above, processing logic 30 place elements of the camera into a low power state. For instance, viewfinder displays may be de-energized and motors that cause optical lens zoom may be powered down. When the camera enters the wake-up state 980, these actions may be reversed to ready the camera for use.
  • [0043]
    Embodiments of the invention can use a wide variety of accelerometers. For example, if implemented as a MEMS device, the accelerometer may be similar to that disclosed by U.S. Pat. No. 5,939,633, which is assigned to Analog Devices, Inc. of Norwood, Mass., the disclosure of which is incorporated herein, in its entirety, by reference. Accelerometers implementing non-MEMS technologies also may be used in other embodiments. Accordingly, discussion of MEMS accelerometers is by way of example only.
  • [0044]
    Systems according to embodiments of the invention may be described by the following clauses:
  • [0045]
    1. A camera system for aligning a camera to the Earth'horizon, the system comprising:
  • [0046]
    a camera including an accelerometer mounted on the camera for determining camera orientation with respect to gravity and a viewfinder display; and
  • [0047]
    a processor including a memory, the memory containing instructions that cause the processor to:
  • [0048]
    determine an orientation of the camera with respect to gravity using the accelerometer; and
  • [0049]
    display an artificial horizon indicator on the viewfinder display based on the determined orientation of the camera.
  • [0050]
    2. A camera system for orienting icons displayed in a camera viewfinder comprising:
  • [0051]
    a camera including an accelerometer mounted on the camera for determining camera orientation with respect to gravity and a viewfinder display; and
  • [0052]
    a processor including a memory, the memory containing instructions that cause the processor to:
  • [0053]
    determine an orientation of the camera with respect to gravity using the accelerometer; and
  • [0054]
    display a given icon on an image produced by the camera, wherein the given icon's orientation is based at least in part on the determination of the orientation of the camera using the accelerometer.
  • [0055]
    3. A camera system for adjusting image exposure time for a camera to reduce movement-induced image blurring, the system comprising:
  • [0056]
    the camera including an accelerometer mounted on the camera for determining camera movement; and
  • [0057]
    a processor including a memory, the memory containing instructions that cause the processor to:
  • [0058]
    measure a peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude using the accelerometer for a given time duration for the camera;
  • [0059]
    adjust the image exposure time based at least in part on the peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude over the given time duration.
  • [0060]
    4. A camera system according to clause 3, wherein adjusting the image exposure time includes calculating a minimum shutter speed.
  • [0061]
    5. A camera system for determining a state of utilization for a camera comprising:
  • [0062]
    a camera including an accelerometer mounted on the camera for determining an orientation of the camera with respect to gravity and a peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude over a given duration; and
  • [0063]
    a processor including a memory, the memory containing instructions that cause the processor to:
  • [0064]
    determine an orientation of the camera using the accelerometer;
  • [0065]
    determine a peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude over a given duration using the accelerometer; and
  • [0066]
    identify the state of utilization for the camera based at least in part on the camera orientation determination and the peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude over a given duration.
  • [0067]
    Computer program products according to embodiments of the invention may be described by the following clauses:
  • [0068]
    1. A computer program product for use on a processor in a camera system, the camera system including an accelerometer mounted on the camera for determining camera orientation with respect to gravity and a viewfinder display; the computer program product comprising a computer usable medium having computer readable program code thereon, the computer readable program code including program code for:
  • [0069]
    determining an orientation of the camera with respect to gravity using the accelerometer; and
  • [0070]
    displaying an artificial horizon indicator on the viewfinder display based on the determined orientation of the camera.
  • [0071]
    2. A computer program product for use on a processor in a camera system, the camera system including an accelerometer mounted on the camera for determining camera orientation with respect to gravity and a viewfinder display; the computer program product comprising a computer usable medium having computer readable program code thereon, the computer readable program code including program code for:
  • [0072]
    determining an orientation of the camera with respect to gravity using the accelerometer; and
  • [0073]
    displaying a given icon on an image produced by the camera, wherein the given icon's orientation is based at least in part on the determination of the orientation of the camera using the accelerometer.
  • [0074]
    3. A computer program product for use on a processor in a camera system, the product for adjusting image exposure time for a camera to reduce movement-induced image blurring, the camera system including an accelerometer mounted on the camera for determining camera movement; the computer program product comprising a computer usable medium having computer readable program code thereon, the computer readable program code including program code for:
  • [0075]
    measureing a peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude using the accelerometer for a given time duration for the camera;
  • [0076]
    adjusting the image exposure time based at least in part on the peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude over the given time duration.
  • [0077]
    4. A computer program product according to clause 3, wherein adjusting the image exposure time includes calculating a minimum shutter speed.
  • [0078]
    5. A computer program product for use on a processor in a camera system, the product for determining a state of utilization for the camera system, the camera system including an accelerometer mounted on the camera for determining camera movement and orientation; the computer program product comprising a computer usable medium having computer readable program code thereon, the computer readable program code including program code for determining an orientation of the camera using the accelerometer;
  • [0079]
    determining a peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude over a given duration using the accelerometer; and
  • [0080]
    identifing the state of utilization for the camera based at least in part on the camera orientation determination and the peak-to-peak acceleration magnitude over a given duration.
  • [0081]
    Logic performing the processing functions may be partitioned into different logic blocks (e.g., programs, modules, functions, or subroutines) without changing the overall results or otherwise departing from the true scope of the invention. Oftentimes, logic elements may be added, modified, omitted, performed in a different order, or implemented using different logic constructs (e.g., logic gates, looping primitives, conditional logic, and other logic constructs) without changing the overall results or otherwise departing from the true scope of the invention.
  • [0082]
    The present invention may be embodied in many different forms, including, but in no way limited to, computer program logic for use with a processor (e.g., a microprocessor, microcontroller, digital signal processor, or general purpose computer), programmable logic for use with a programmable logic device (e.g., a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) or other PLD), discrete components, integrated circuitry (e.g., an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC)), or any other means including any combination thereof.
  • [0083]
    Computer program logic implementing all or part of the functionality previously described herein may be embodied in various forms, including, but in no way limited to, a source code form, a computer exec structure form, and various intermediate forms (e.g., forms generated by an assembler, compiler, linker, or locator.) Source code may include a series of computer program instructions implemented in any of various programming languages (e.g., an object code, an assembly language, or a high-level language such as FORTRAN, C, C++, JAVA, or HTML) for use with various operating systems or operating environments. The source code may define and use various data structures and communication messages. The source code may be in a computer execustructure form (e.g., via an interpreter), or the source code may be converted (e.g., via a translator, assembler, or compiler) into a computer executable structure form.
  • [0084]
    The computer program may be fixed in any form (e.g., source code form, computer execustructure form, or an intermediate form) either permanently or transitorily in a tangible storage medium, such as a semiconductor memory device (e.g., a RAM, ROM, PROM, EEPROM, or Flash-Programmable RAM), a magnetic memory device (e.g., a diskette or fixed disk), an optical memory device (e.g., a CD-ROM), a PC card (e.g., PCMCIA card), or other memory device. The computer program may be fixed in any form in a signal that is transmittable to a computer using any of various communication technologies, including, but in no way limited to, analog technologies, digital technologies, optical technologies, wireless technologies, networking technologies, and internetworking technologies. The computer program may be distributed in any form as a removable storage medium with accompanying printed or electronic documentation (e.g., shrink wrapped software or a magnetic tape), preloaded with a computer system (e.g., on system ROM or fixed disk), or distributed from a server or electronic bulletin board over the communication system (e.g., the Internet or World Wide Web.)
  • [0085]
    Hardware logic (including programmable logic for use with a programmable logic device) implementing all or part of the functionality previously described herein may be designed using traditional manual methods, or may be designed, captured, simulated, or documented electronically using various tools, such as Computer Aided Design (CAD), a hardware description language (e.g., VHDL or AHDL), or a PLD programming language (e.g., PALASM, ABEL, or CUPL.)
  • [0086]
    Although the above discussion discloses various exemplary embodiments of the invention, it should be apparent that those skilled in the art can make various modifications that will achieve some of the advantages of the invention without departing from the true scope of the invention. Other variations and modifications of the embodiments described above are intended to be within the scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4448510 *Oct 14, 1982May 15, 1984Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Camera shake detection apparatus
US4787051 *May 16, 1986Nov 22, 1988Tektronix, Inc.Inertial mouse system
US4801793 *Jan 13, 1988Jan 31, 1989Eastman Kodak CompanyOrientation indicating device
US4862172 *Sep 14, 1987Aug 29, 1989Texas Scottish Rite Hospital For Crippled ChildrenComputer control apparatus including a gravity referenced inclinometer
US5227889 *May 6, 1991Jul 13, 1993Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Image slant compensatable video camera
US5335032 *Apr 23, 1992Aug 2, 1994Canon Kabushiki KaishaImage stabilizing apparatus
US5363120 *Sep 27, 1993Nov 8, 1994Wang Laboratories, Inc.Computer input device using orientation sensor
US5555061 *Sep 26, 1994Sep 10, 1996Nikon CorporationCamera with improved positioning of vibration detecting sensors therein
US5699112 *Jun 1, 1995Dec 16, 1997Vision Iii Imaging, Inc.Imaging stablizing apparatus for film and video cameras utilizing spurious camera motion compensating movements of a lens aperture
US5709249 *Jun 22, 1995Jan 20, 1998Yazaki CorporationLocking structure
US5794078 *Sep 6, 1996Aug 11, 1998Nikon CorporationImage movement correction of camera
US5826115 *Aug 5, 1997Oct 20, 1998Canon Kabushiki KaishaCamera with an image stabilizing function
US5868031 *Feb 6, 1996Feb 9, 1999Anatoliy KokushTriaxial gyroscopic stabilizer for movie or television camera
US5878283 *Sep 5, 1996Mar 2, 1999Eastman Kodak CompanySingle-use camera with motion sensor
US5881321 *May 9, 1997Mar 9, 1999Cammotion, Inc..Camera motion sensing system
US5898421 *May 7, 1996Apr 27, 1999Gyration, Inc.Gyroscopic pointer and method
US5943512 *Nov 25, 1997Aug 24, 1999Minolta Co., Ltd.Apparatus equipment with position detecting device
US5999211 *Oct 28, 1996Dec 7, 1999Imageamerica, Inc.Direct digital airborne panoramic camera system and method
US6011926 *Jul 9, 1998Jan 4, 2000Cockell; Patrick G.Horizon control
US6091448 *Dec 23, 1994Jul 18, 2000Canon Kabushiki KaishaApparatus for preventing an image blur prevention device from changing states during an image recording operation
US6438393 *Jun 18, 1999Aug 20, 2002Nokia Mobile Phones LimitedIntegrated motion detector in a mobile communications device
US6516151 *Feb 12, 2001Feb 4, 2003Hewlett-Packard CompanyCamera projected viewfinder
US6747690 *Jul 3, 2001Jun 8, 2004Phase One A/SDigital camera with integrated accelerometers
US6751410 *Jul 10, 2003Jun 15, 2004Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.Inertial camera stabilization apparatus and method
US6757488 *Sep 16, 2002Jun 29, 2004Canon Kabushiki KaishaControl apparatus for image blur correction
US6810207 *May 12, 2003Oct 26, 2004Olympus CorporationCamera
US6912386 *Nov 13, 2001Jun 28, 2005Nokia CorporationMethod for controlling operation of a mobile device by detecting usage situations
US7331724 *Jan 19, 2004Feb 19, 2008Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Camera-equipped portable device
US20030038779 *Aug 22, 2001Feb 27, 2003Baron John M.Acceleration-responsive navigation among mode variables
US20030076408 *Oct 18, 2001Apr 24, 2003Nokia CorporationMethod and handheld device for obtaining an image of an object by combining a plurality of images
US20040073087 *Nov 13, 2003Apr 15, 2004Arkady GlukhovskySystem and method for controlling in vivo camera capture and display rate
US20040130628 *Jan 8, 2003Jul 8, 2004Stavely Donald J.Apparatus and method for reducing image blur in a digital camera
US20040141085 *Jan 17, 2003Jul 22, 2004Nickel Janice H.Method and system for processing an image
US20040145613 *Jan 29, 2003Jul 29, 2004Stavely Donald J.User Interface using acceleration for input
US20040212699 *May 18, 2004Oct 28, 2004Claus MolgaardDigital camera with integrated accelerometers
US20050007467 *Jul 7, 2003Jan 13, 2005Battles Amy E.System and method for setting an image capture device to an operational mode
US20050008355 *Jul 27, 2004Jan 13, 2005Tatsuya SatoCamera
US20050117024 *Jul 19, 2004Jun 2, 2005Lg Electronics Inc.Gradient displaying method of mobile terminal
US20050146620 *Jan 2, 2004Jul 7, 2005Monroe Darrin D.Electronic device with image capturing and method therefor
USRE35583 *May 11, 1995Aug 12, 1997Minolta Camera Kabushiki KaishaCamera capable of correcting blurring
USRE38361 *Feb 14, 1997Dec 23, 2003Minolta Co., Ltd.Camera capable of correcting blurring
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7593627 *Sep 11, 2006Sep 22, 2009Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AbAngle correction for camera
US7857218 *Dec 21, 2007Dec 28, 2010Cognex CorporationHandheld code reader having a motion sensor
US7907836 *Sep 10, 2008Mar 15, 2011Ricoh Company, Ltd.Imaging apparatus
US7983543 *Dec 10, 2008Jul 19, 2011Canon Kabushiki KaishaImaging apparatus and imaging method
US8035720 *Sep 18, 2006Oct 11, 2011Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Image display apparatus and photographing apparatus
US8089553 *Nov 13, 2008Jan 3, 2012Ricoh Company, Ltd.Lens drive device, image pickup device and lens drive method
US8098981 *Aug 21, 2006Jan 17, 2012Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Image processing method and apparatus and information storage medium storing image information
US8138708 *Nov 26, 2008Mar 20, 2012Allegro Microsystems, Inc.Closed-loop motor driver compensation
US8159363Feb 16, 2009Apr 17, 2012Research In Motion LimitedUsing gravity to direct a rotatable camera in a handheld electronic device
US8204369Feb 7, 2011Jun 19, 2012Ricoh Company, Ltd.Imaging apparatus
US8228381Sep 2, 2009Jul 24, 2012Walter AccursoVideo and data capturing system and method
US8280677Feb 25, 2009Oct 2, 2012Kabushiki Kaisha TopconGeographical data collecting device
US8319952Jan 4, 2011Nov 27, 2012Kabushiki Kaisha TopconGeographic data collecting system
US8391697 *Mar 29, 2010Mar 5, 2013Lg Electronics Inc.Mobile terminal and method of controlling the operation of the mobile terminal
US8422872Dec 13, 2011Apr 16, 2013Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Image processing method and apparatus and information storage medium storing image information
US8422873May 21, 2012Apr 16, 2013Ricoh Corporation, Ltd.Imaging apparatus
US8469276 *Sep 30, 2010Jun 25, 2013Cognex CorporationHandheld code reader having a motion sensor
US8493453Jun 5, 2009Jul 23, 2013Apple Inc.Image capturing devices using orientation detectors to implement automatic exposure mechanisms
US8520117Oct 10, 2011Aug 27, 2013Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Image display apparatus and photographing apparatus that sets a display format according to a sensed motion
US8560004Aug 31, 2012Oct 15, 2013Google Inc.Sensor-based activation of an input device
US8588550 *Oct 4, 2010Nov 19, 2013Sony CorporationVirtual level for a digital camera
US8610821 *Mar 29, 2010Dec 17, 2013Olympus Imaging Corp.Imaging device and method for controlling power of imaging device
US8629642Feb 15, 2012Jan 14, 2014Allegro Microsystems, LlcClosed-loop motor driver compensation
US8639102Mar 14, 2013Jan 28, 2014Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Image processing method and apparatus and information storage medium storing image information
US8639103Mar 18, 2013Jan 28, 2014Ricoh Company, Ltd.Imaging apparatus
US8717432Feb 24, 2009May 6, 2014Kabushiki Kaisha TopconGeographical data collecting device
US8860866 *Nov 30, 2011Oct 14, 2014Ricoh Company, Ltd.Imaging apparatus capable of detecting and displaying information with respect to an incline thereof
US8934009Jul 14, 2011Jan 13, 2015Kabushiki Kaisha TopconMeasuring method and measuring device
US9007485Jul 15, 2013Apr 14, 2015Apple Inc.Image capturing devices using orientation detectors to implement automatic exposure mechanisms
US9014685 *Jun 12, 2009Apr 21, 2015Microsoft Technology Licensing, LlcMobile device which automatically determines operating mode
US9159294Mar 31, 2014Oct 13, 2015Google Inc.Buttonless display activation
US9186796Feb 23, 2012Nov 17, 2015Olympus CorporationMaster input device and master-slave manipulator
US9219865Aug 29, 2014Dec 22, 2015Ricoh Company, Ltd.Imaging apparatus capable of detecting and displaying information with respect to an incline thereof
US9232136 *Dec 13, 2013Jan 5, 2016Olympus CorporationImaging device and method for controlling power of imaging device
US20070047943 *Aug 21, 2006Mar 1, 2007Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Image processing method and apparatus and information storage medium storing image information
US20070146526 *Sep 18, 2006Jun 28, 2007Samsung Techwin Co., Ltd.Image display apparatus and photographing apparatus
US20080044169 *Sep 11, 2006Feb 21, 2008Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AbAngle correction for camera
US20090067826 *Sep 10, 2008Mar 12, 2009Junichi ShinoharaImaging apparatus
US20090141135 *Nov 13, 2008Jun 4, 2009Yohsuke SuzukiLens drive device, image pickup device and lens drive method
US20090154911 *Dec 10, 2008Jun 18, 2009Canon Kabushiki KaishaImaging apparatus and imaging method
US20090222237 *Feb 25, 2009Sep 3, 2009Kabushiki Kaisha TopconGeographical data collecting device
US20090225161 *Feb 24, 2009Sep 10, 2009Kabushiki Kaisha TopconGeographical data collecting device
US20090294541 *Dec 21, 2007Dec 3, 2009Laurens NunninkHandheld Code Reader Having A Motion Sensor
US20100053331 *Mar 4, 2010Walter AccursoVideo and data capturing system and method
US20100127655 *Nov 26, 2008May 27, 2010Ward Michael GClosed-loop motor driver compensation
US20100207774 *Feb 16, 2009Aug 19, 2010Research In Motion LimitedControllably Rotatable Camera in Handheld Electronic Device
US20100253792 *Mar 29, 2010Oct 7, 2010Katsuhisa KawaguchiImaging device and method for controlling power of imaging device
US20100309321 *Jun 5, 2009Dec 9, 2010Ralph BrunnerImage capturing devices using orientation detectors to implement automatic exposure mechanisms
US20100317332 *Dec 16, 2010Bathiche Steven NMobile device which automatically determines operating mode
US20110076003 *Mar 29, 2010Mar 31, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Mobile terminal and method of controlling the operation of the mobile terminal
US20110096319 *Apr 28, 2011Kabushiki Kaisha TopconGeographic data collecting system
US20110128410 *Jun 2, 2011Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Apparatus for and method of taking image of mobile terminal
US20110200311 *Aug 18, 2011Junichi ShinoharaImaging apparatus
US20110298887 *Dec 8, 2011Maglaque Chad LApparatus Using an Accelerometer to Capture Photographic Images
US20120069234 *Nov 30, 2011Mar 22, 2012Yasuda TakurohImaging Apparatus capable of detecting and displaying information with respect to an incline thereof
US20120081402 *Apr 5, 2012Sony CorporationVirtual level for a digital camera
US20140218581 *Apr 8, 2014Aug 7, 2014Nikon CorporationPortable information device, imaging apparatus and information acquisition system
US20150029224 *Jul 16, 2014Jan 29, 2015Canon Kabushiki KaishaImaging apparatus, control method and program of imaging apparatus, and recording medium
CN103141078A *Jul 29, 2011Jun 5, 2013索尼电脑娱乐公司Image display device, and image display method
DE102010000929A1Jan 15, 2010Jul 21, 2011Robert Bosch GmbH, 70469Method for providing signal indicating spatial alignment of portable device e.g. mobile phone, involves detecting parameter influencing direction determination by using sensor, and determining reference direction based on detected parameter
DE102010001019A1Jan 19, 2010Jul 21, 2011Robert Bosch GmbH, 70469Method for alignment of portable digital apparatus e.g. mobile telephone, involves measuring acceleration values such that offset is determined, where optimization of recognition of orientation takes place in dependent upon offset
EP2098821A1 *Feb 27, 2009Sep 9, 2009Kabushiki Kaisha TopconGeographical data collecting device
Classifications
U.S. Classification396/50, 348/E05.047
International ClassificationG03B17/00
Cooperative ClassificationG03B17/20, G03B7/00, G03B17/02, H04N5/2327, H04N5/23293, H04N5/232
European ClassificationH04N5/232, H04N5/232S2B, G03B7/00, G03B17/02, H04N5/232V, G03B17/20