Apple Invents a 3D Depth Mapping Camera for Hand Gesturing Interfaces
Apple has been granted a number of patents regarding a 3D camera that could capture user gestures in relation to gaming over the years. One was issued in August 2015 and another issued this past February. The noted patents came from Apple's Israeli team PrimeSense. Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that once again relates to a 3D camera system for 'interactive gaming' that was invented by one of their teams in California.
Technically, Apple's invention relates to testing a light beam that is used, for optical 3D mapping or for illumination. Why is this of interest? Because Apple insists that that their 3D mapping can be used for a future gaming system as noted below:
"A 3D map, 3D image, depth map or depth image, and 3D mapping is also referred to as depth mapping. Typically, an optical apparatus that includes a diffractive optical element (DOE) is used for depth mapping. The DOE increases the angular spread of a light beam, by generating multiple orders of diffraction of the light beam. The orders of diffraction are reflected from a surface at multiple points, the reflected light from each of the multiple points is detected, and the reflected light is used to compute a depth map of the surface.
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