Friday, July 13, 2012

LinX Imaging's Multi-Aperture Camera Offers Refocusing, Shallow DoF, HDR, 3D Depth Map

LinX Imaging CEO Ziv Attar emailed me the company presentation:

"LinX Imaging, a start-up company developing multi aperture camera technology, launches its website and demonstrates its Virtual Aperture App called "VApp" that allows post-capture focus manipulations.

The company was founded in 2009 in Israel by two engineers and since then has been developing revolutionary photography technology using multi-aperture cameras.
The company's main focus is on 2x2 and 2x3 arrays for high megapixel camera phones which boost low light performance by factors greater than x10, add true HDR functionality in still and video modes and significantly improve color performance.
The following image crops were captured in 1 LUX. Both images were taken using the same generation pixel and with similar exposure time of 80 milliseconds:



The camera modules for any given resolution are 55% shorter and 30% smaller in footprint when compared to a conventional camera having similar resolution.
LinX Imaging uses a unique method for reconstruction of a high resolution image which consist of two dimensional color information and a depth map which is later used to create amazing apps and enable new features.

To stimulate app developers to create apps that use the depth information, LinX Imaging will conduct seminars that will focus on uses of the depth map created by the LinX cameras. Developers will also receive an SDK that supports multiple platforms and operating systems. The first seminar for Android OS will be held later this year.

A good example of the use of the depth map is the VApp which allows users to choose their favorite focus in an image by simply touching the screen of their phone or tablet. Creating a shallow depth of field is a great advantage in mobile photography as it creates a three dimensional feeling to the image and isolates the important object in an image as in the following example:



The following video shows the VApp running on an Android tablet:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctlKKFq46vk



LinX Imaging is working with leading sensor makers and lens manufacturers to bring its first products to the market during next year. SDK and seminar information will be published on the company's website: www.linximaging.com"

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with Linx Imaging in any way.

17 comments:

  1. 10x low light.... I thought April fools was a few months ago...

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  2. Where can I find this app? Is it available for Moto Xoom?

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  3. The app works on any Android 3 or later. You will be able to downloaded from our website in a few weeks.
    The apps require the depth information which is created by our cameras.
    The app will include many sample images that can be used for development and for fun.

    Linx team.

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    1. Hello Linx Team,

      I am more curious to know about the Depth information parameters like FOV, Depth minimum/maximum range and the kind the technology involved in measuring depth (as Kinect uses Structured light), resolution of the depth frame captured, frame rate? How is the Linx Image different to the image captured by overalying RGB+Depth information from say Kinect device?

      Regards
      Sriram

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. What is meant by multi-aperture?

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  6. congratulation to the Linx team and good luck.GM.

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  7. they cover everythings

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  8. Multi aperture is a term describing the number of imaging lenses used in the system. In a traditional camera only one aperture exists. In an array camera there are more than one.

    The depth maps are not created using any type of light source or TOF sensor. Given the multiple apertures located at different positions in space the camera operates as a stereo camera but using more than two apertures as usually associated with the term stereo.

    Thanks for the interesting question !
    LinX team

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  9. If this is based on a camera array, then clearly the required hardware needs to be in place, right? From the above comments/discussion, I get the impression that it is a software app for Android 3.0 and later, am getting confused.

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    1. I think they are only providing software with sample images which simulates what a LinX camera will capture. It does not actually provide image capturing capability using your mobile electronics camera.

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    2. Yes, thanks for the reply, I re-read their comment and it looks like their app will include their own sample images that can be edited, etc. So it will not work on new captures per se, for that, the device would need to have the appropriate hardware.

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  10. the depth from focusing can only work with short distance. I cannot see how they can apply this concept to the touch screen which needs high spatial resolution.

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    1. As far as I understand, LinX is using parallax between the multiple apertures to determine the depth. See their comment from July 14, 12:53AM above.

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    2. this approach has been proposed by Kanadé of CMU more than 20 years ago. Search inside IEEE electonic library with "multi-base line stereo".

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  11. Hello Linx team,
    I have a question: given the very short baseline among the multiple sensors/apertures, the depth range is also very short, right?

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