New video camera can focus on near and far objects simultaneously

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Washington, May 5 (ANI): Experts at the University of Toronto have come up with a novel video camera design, which is based on an entirely new distance-mapping principle.

The Omni-focus Video Camera delivers automatic real-time focus of both near and far field images, simultaneously, in high resolution.

According to the researchers, this unprecedented capability of the camera can be broadly applied in industry, including manufacturing, medicine, defense, security and for the consumer market.

"The intensity of a point source decays with the inverse square of the distance of propagation. This variation with distance has proven to be large enough to provide depth mapping with high resolution. What's more, by using two point sources at different locations, the distance of the object can be determined without the influence of its surface texture," said inventor and principal investigator of the Omni-focus video camera, Professor Keigo Iizuka.

This principle led Iizuka to invent a novel distance-mapping camera, the Divergence-ratio Axi-vision Camera, abbreviated "Divcam," which is a key component of the new Omni-focus Video Camera.

The Omni-focus Video Camera is produced in collaboration with consulting investigator Dr. David Wilkes, president of Wilkes Associates, a Canadian high-tech product development company.

It contains an array of colour video cameras, each focused at a different distance, and an integrated Divcam. The Divcam maps distance information for every pixel in the scene in real time.

A software-based pixel correspondence utility, using prior intellectual property invented by Wilkes, then uses the distance information to select individual pixels from the ensemble of outputs of the colour video cameras, and generates the final "omni-focused" single-video image.

"The Omni-focus Video Camera's unique ability to achieve simultaneous focus of all of the objects in a scene, near or far, multiple or single, without the usual physical movement of the camera's optics, represents a true advancement that is further distinguished in terms of high-resolution, distance mapping, real-time operation, simplicity, compactness, lightweight portability and a projected low manufacturing cost," said Wilkes. (ANI)

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