Friday, September 23, 2016

Strange Applications for Image Sensors

Inspired by Ig Nobel prizes this week, here is a roundup of the recent prize-worthy patent applications that incorporate image sensors:

Philips application US20160262521 "A system and a method for guiding a user during a shaving procedure" by Jacek Lukasz Kustra, Guido Theodorus Gerardus Volleberg, Stefan Pfundtner, Karl Catharina Bree, Petrus Johannes Arnoldus Hubertus Kuijten, John Cornelius Petrus Van Der Ven, Harry Broers proposes "the system comprising an imaging module configured to register an image of a part of the body of the user, an image data analyzer configured to determine a local hair-growth direction based on data in the image, a controller configured to generate instructions about a direction in which a hair cutting device is to be moved over the body in dependence on the determined local hair-growth direction, and a feedback system configured to provide the instructions to the user."

Samsung patent application US20160267895 "Electronic device, method for recognizing playing of string instrument in electronic device, and method for providng feedback on playing of string instrument in electronic device" by Dae Young Jeon, Yeon Su Kim, Yeong Min Kim, Jung Min Park, Kyung Seok Oh proposes "The electronic device includes an image sensor configured to sense a motion of a bow to the string instrument, a vibration sensor configured to sense a vibration generated by the string instrument, and a control module configured to determine a fingering position of a user with respect to the string instrument using the motion of the bow and the vibration."

Bosch Und Siemens Hausgerate patent application US20160201981 "Refrigeration appliance with a camera module" by Stephan Kempfle, Gerhard Wetzl solves a problem of rolling shutter distortions when the refrigerator door opens. The distortions might cause difficulties in the food identification. The application proposes to rotate the camera as the door opens, so that it's always pointing to the same spot 125:

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