News Column

Patent Issued for Method and Apparatus for Fast Computational Stereo

July 8, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Technology -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Cluster, Jordan (Tempe, AZ); El Dokor, Tarek (Phoenix, AZ), filed on November 15, 2011, was published online on June 24, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8761509, is Edge 3 Technologies, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Systems and methods for generating depth maps for images have suffered from lack of precision and requirements for great computing resources. Additionally, specialized hardware is often required in order to generate such a depth map. Imprecision in generation of such a depth map may result in poor resolution of acquired images and difficulty in identifying precise locations of objects within those depth maps. Without such precise identification of these locations, later processing of these images and objects may result in a reduced ability to rely on these locations and objects for additional processing.

"Therefore, it would be desirable to present a method and apparatus that overcomes the drawbacks of the prior art."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In accordance with various embodiments of the present invention, a method and apparatus is provided for stabilizing segmentation and depth calculations. The inventors of the present invention have presented, in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/025,038, titled 'Method and Apparatus for Performing Segmentation of an Image', filed Feb. 10, 2011 to El Dokor et al., Ser. No. 13/025,055, titled 'Method and Apparatus for Disparity Computation in Stereo Images:, filed February 10 to El Dokor et al., and Ser. No. 13/025,070, titled 'Method and Apparatus for Determining Disparity of Texture', filed Feb. 10, 2011 to El Dokor et al., the entire contents of each of these applications being incorporated herein by reference, a case for describing various types of segments, labeled as stable or unstable segments, used for developing a disparity map. This is described as being accomplished by matching such segments with their appropriate counterparts between the two images in a stereo image sequence. Building on the implementation described in the above-mentioned applications, in accordance with various embodiments of the present invention, a series of criteria is presented for updating the various segments, specifically with the goal of efficient and accurate depth map updating.

"As is described in the '038, '055 and '070 applications, it is meaningful to look only at one or more changes associated with a given stereo image sequence to produce a subsequent depth map and not the entire image. Thus, rather than recomputing an entirely new depth map for each pair of stereo images over time, only changes between consecutive frames are computed and integrated into one composite depth map. This process is not only computationally more efficient than recomputing the complete depth map for each stereo frame pair, it is also more accurate for matching, since only regions with significant changes are being matched in any given frame or sequence of frames. This is an altogether novel approach to computational stereo as previous attempts have been faced with a significant amount of computational complexity, problems with limiting a candidate space of depth calculations, and a nebulous set of features at best to extract from, without these features being robust to significant changes in the scene's quality or even overall color scheme.

"In accordance with various embodiments of the present invention, a framework with which such an approach can be accomplished is provided, defining various types of regions and segments that are associated with such an approach. Also presented are other relevant aspects and features to develop a set of factors that can improve the accuracy of segmentation and the accuracy of the depth map itself, by presenting a shallow-depth of field concept with two different realizations.

"Still other objects and advantages of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part be apparent from the specification and drawings.

"The invention accordingly comprises the several steps and the relation of one or more of such steps with respect to each of the other steps, and the apparatus embodying features of construction, combinations of elements and arrangement of parts that are adapted to affect such steps, all as exemplified in the following detailed disclosure, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims."

For more information, see this patent: Cluster, Jordan; El Dokor, Tarek. Method and Apparatus for Fast Computational Stereo. U.S. Patent Number 8761509, filed November 15, 2011, and published online on June 24, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Edge 3 Technologies Inc..

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Source: Journal of Technology

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