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Apple Granted Patent for Projection System with Depth Sensing

1. Cover - Apple patent for projection system with depth sensing

The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 43 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover another single patent that relates to an advanced projection system with depth sensors. One of Apple's R&D teams is dedicated to projection systems and they've archived a number of fascinating inventions on this front over the years. The fact that we've yet to see a single projection project come to market yet, makes this engineering group all the more a mystery to us.

Apple Granted Patent for a Projection System with Depth Sensing


Apple has been granted a patent today for their invention relating to image processing systems and, more specifically, to depth sensing in combination with image processing for keystoning.


It appears that Apple has a team focused on all manner of projection systems. One of Apple's engineers by the name of Aaron Leiba that is listed as an inventor on this patent was also behind a mysterious high level projection system project that the patent filing described as being the Next Great Thing.


2A. Apple patent for projection system with depth sensing keystoning


Another engineer on this patent by the name of Brandon Slack was also behind another granted patent regarding an advanced projection system as noted here.


An issue that is common to many image projection systems is image distortion. An image projection system that is placed at a non-right angle with respect to the projection screen may result in distortion of the projected image on the projection screen. For example, the image for projection may be a square, but the projected image on the projection screen may appear to the viewers as a trapezoid, may appear elongated and so on. Correcting image distortion is referred to as "keystone correction" or "keystoning." Apple's granted patent presents a solution to this problem.


More importantly, Apple's granted patent covers the actual projection system. According to Apple, "The image processing system may include a plurality of sensors operative to perform at least depth measurements, an image processor operative to at least receive depth measurements from the plurality of sensors and to calculate image transforms and an image projection system operative to project at least a first image. The plurality of sensors of the image processing system may be infrared sensors that may be operative to perform at least depth measurements. Furthermore, the image processing system may include a camera, wherein the camera may include a plurality of camera pixels, each pixel being a depth sensor."


Apple's patent FIG. 2A noted above illustrates an image projection system with depth sensors; FIG. 3B shows an example of an image of a projection surface and an image of a projected image on a projection surface; FIG. 5 shows an optical processing system depicting one embodiment of a keystoning method and system.


Apple credits Brandon Slack, Aaron Leiba, Alex Crumlin and Jason Medeiros as the inventors of granted patent 8,538,084 which was originally filed in Q3 2008 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. To review today's granted patent and its 16 claims and details, see Apple's patent. Other projection related patents could be viewed in our specialty Archives.


PA - Bar - Notice


Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.



Jack Purcher

That's why I provided the patent number and linked to it under "See Apple's patent. It doesn't get clearer than that. Check it out.


Jeff, let them take their time. Entry into projection can only be done once - there's no second shot. If it's not perfect (and better than anything out there currently!) first time, no-one will listen to Apple the second time.


I showed some of these to a fellow apple fan.
He questioned the validity of the patents.
Is it possible to search patents by using their numbers?


Apple labors mightily yet is so slow at bringing updates to the market. Apple has a lot of patents on record. Surely they can speed up development and give us more value faster!

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