ETH Zurich: Spatially Adaptive Flash for improved flash photography

18 Feb 2009 | News

Licensing opportunity

The Institute of Visual Computing within the Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich, in Switzerland, is looking to license a spatially adaptive flash unit. The unit can overcome the problems caused by reduced illumination by projecting spatially dependent coloured light for mood lighting or textured projection.

ETH’s spatially adaptive flash works by changing the physical illumination of a scene on a pixel-by-pixel basis using an infrared time-of-flight range finder – which measures distances between objects – combined with a liquid crystal display and lens that modulates illumination in such a way that light is adjusted to every point, and an even photographic image generated in a single snapshot.

The technology will prevent distant objects in dark scenes from appearing dark by preventing the light attenuation-induced overexposure that occurs with conventional photographic flash lights. This can also be achieved without the rangefinder by using inputs from various sensors and processing stages of the camera that can, for example, be used to illuminate chosen regions such as specific faces.

The adaptive flash light technology can be adapted to single lens or digital reflex cameras, or be integrated into compact cameras and video devices.

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