We have known for some time that Apple has been working on 3D camera technology. In fact, a patent related to that was also discovered a while back. Now, another patent filed by Apple related to 3D cameras has surfaced. The patent is about a 3D camera that makes use of a whole lot of techniques and technologies such as chrominance, depth-detection, microlenses and luminance sensors.
The 3D cameras that Apple is working on will apparently have the ability to gather detailed information about a 3D object scanned by them. According to the company, the current models of 3D imaging devices can’t pull this off and rather, are ‘incapable of extracting depth information.’
To counter this, Apple introduces a new 3D camera technology which is capable of discerning 3D objects as well as the gestures of these objects. For instance, if a person is smiling or frowning or winking, the camera will be able read that specific gesture. How will this be done? By determining the position of different facial muscles using surface geometry data. This data can be matched against the known muscle positions when making the gestures and the camera will be able to tell what exact gesture is being made.
Also, if an object rotates in front of the camera, the camera will be able to create a 3D digital model of the object. This will be done by capturing the video or multiple photographs of that object. Another exciting example to cite the extent of the capabilities of this technology is this: imaging you are inside your home and you shoot a throughout video of its from the inside – the camera will then be able to create an overall digital model based on that video!
Of course that is still a patent from Apple and not a technology that we have actually seen. But with Apple steadily working on 3D cameras and related technologies, we can really hope that some day, just such a feature will be a part of an Apple smartphone.