Qualcomm Patent | Methods and apparatus for codeword boundary detection for generating depth maps

Patent: Methods and apparatus for codeword boundary detection for generating depth maps

Publication Number: 10192311

Publication Date: 2019-01-29

Applicants: Qualcomm

Abstract

A structured light active sensing systems may be configured to transmit and received codewords to generate a depth map by analyzing disparities between the locations of the transmitted and received codewords. To determine the locations of received codewords, an image of the projected codewords is identified, from which one or more codeword boundaries are detected. The codeword boundaries may be detected based upon a particular codeword bit of each codeword. Each detected codeword boundary may be constrained from overlapping with other detected codeword boundaries, such that no pixel of the received image is associated with more than one codeword boundary.

Background

Structured light systems may transmit and receive light patterns, or spatial codes, to generate a depth map. The farther away an object is from the transmitter and receiver, the smaller the disparity between the light pattern reflected by object and its original location will be, as the outgoing projection and incoming projection are more parallel. Conversely, the closer an object is to the transmitter and receiver, the bigger the disparity between received light pattern and its original position will be. Thus, the difference between received and transmitted light pattern (codeword) position gives the depth of the scene or object. Structured light systems use these relative depths to generate a depth map or a three dimensional representation of a scene. Depth map extraction is critical to many applications ranging from camera quality enhancement to computer vision.

Generating depth maps may be very computationally expensive, and computation time remains a major obstacle for commercialization of structured light systems for generating depth maps. As such, there exists a need for faster generation of depth maps.

Summary

The systems, methods and devices of this disclosure each have several innovative aspects, no single one of which is solely responsible for the desirable attributes disclosed herein.

In some embodiments, a method operable by an image processing device for generating a depth map is provided. The method may comprise receiving an image, the image corresponding to a light field projected through a mask onto a scene, wherein the received image corresponds to one or more codewords, each codeword comprising one or more codeword bits, each codeword bit comprising one or more pixels. The method may further comprise detecting one or more codeword boundaries, each codeword boundary corresponding to a particular codeword bit of a codeword, wherein each detected codeword boundary is constrained from overlapping with other detected codeword boundaries, such that no pixel of the image is associated with more than one codeword boundary. The method may further comprise identifying one or more codewords corresponding to the one or more detected codeword boundaries; utilizing at least one disparity value between (i) a location on the image of an identified codeword of the one or more identified codewords and (ii) a location associated with the identified codeword on the projected light field to generate a disparity map; and generating a depth map based on the disparity map.

In some embodiments, an image processing device for generating a depth map is provided. The image processing device may comprise a receiver configured to receive an image, the image corresponding to a light field projected through a mask onto a scene, wherein the received image corresponds to one or more codewords, each codeword comprising one or more codeword bits, each codeword bit comprising one or more pixels. The image processing device may further comprise at least one processor, and a memory having stored thereon instructions that, when executed, cause the at least one processor to using the received image, detect one or more codeword boundaries, each codeword boundary corresponding to a particular codeword bit of a codeword, wherein each detected codeword boundary is constrained from overlapping with other detected codeword boundaries, such that no pixel of the image is associated with more than one codeword boundary. The memory may further have stored thereon instructions that, when executed, cause the processor to identify one or more codewords corresponding to the one or more detected codeword boundaries, utilize at least one disparity value between (i) a location on the image of an identified codeword of the one or more identified codewords and (ii) a location associated with the identified codeword on the projected light field to generate a disparity map, and generate a depth map based on the disparity map.

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