Apple won 73 Patents today covering an iDevice Optoelectronic Projection System for 3D Mapping & more
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 73 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we briefly cover a single patent relating to the improvement of Apple's Face ID dot projector. And as always, we wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Monitoring Focus of an Optoelectronic Projection System
Apple notes that projection modules may be used, for example, to cast a pattern of structured light onto an object for purposes of three-dimensional (3D) mapping (also known as depth mapping) such. This is currently used on iPhones and iPad's with Face ID.
In one example the projection module comprises an array of light emitters and projection optics, wherein the array is positioned at the focal plane of the projection optics.
Beams of light emitted by the array are projected by the projection optics so as to form a pattern of illuminated spots on the object. An image capture assembly captures an image of the pattern that is projected onto the object, and a processor processes the image so as to a 3D map of the object.
The method of spot projection is also applicable to 3D mapping utilizing a time-of-flight method, wherein the emitters, such as VCSELs (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers), are pulsed, and the image capture assembly comprises high-speed detectors, such as SPADs (Single-photon Avalanche Diodes).
Apple's granted patent is for an improved apparatus and methods for optical projection.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below is a schematic sectional illustration of an optoelectronic apparatus; FIG. 2 is a schematic top view of a substrate on which emitter and detector arrays are formed
For finer details review Apple's granted patent 10,908,383.
The Remaining Patents Granted to Apple Today