Browse Prior Art Database

Aiming a Camera to Take a Self Portrait

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000109193D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-23
Document File: 3 page(s) / 138K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bruun, NG: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

The problem is to invent an effective method for people to take facial self-portraits of themselves. There are three main difficulties: (1) people differ greatly in height; (2) an effective feedback system for aiming the camera is required; and (3) cost. (1) The desire is to invent a method for people, of various heights, to take facial portraits of themselves without their having to adjust to a fixed position of a camera, e.g., by having tall people squat or short people stand on something. Without considering extremes, the bottom of short people's chins, including school-age children, is about 90 cm. (36 in.) from the ground and the top of tall people's heads is about 250 cm. (78 in.).

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Aiming a Camera to Take a Self Portrait

       The problem is to invent an effective method for people
to take facial self-portraits of themselves.  There are three main
difficulties: (1) people differ greatly in height; (2) an effective
feedback system for aiming the camera is required; and (3) cost.
     (1)  The desire is to invent a method for people, of various
heights, to take facial portraits of themselves without their having
to adjust to a fixed position of a camera, e.g., by having tall
people squat or short people stand on something.  Without considering
extremes, the bottom of short people's chins, including school-age
children, is about 90 cm. (36 in.) from the ground and the top of
tall people's heads is about 250 cm. (78 in.).  Requiring people to
sit, as is often done in self-portrait booths, reduces the effect of
height differences by about 50%; however, this is not an acceptable
solution for "walk up and use" kiosks and for computer-controlled
multi-media applications.  Multiple cameras could be used, but this
is expensive and requires additional optics and instrumentation.
     (2)  Effective feedback is required for aiming the camera.
Photographic cameras today have no feedback until the film is
developed.  Video cameras sometimes have a small television set near
the aiming mechanism on the back of the camera.  This is expensive,
and, in addition, is of little or no value for self-portraits because
it is often very small and faces the wrong way.  A television set
could be coupled with the camera and placed so that the person to be
photographed (by himself) could see it.  This, however, is expensive,
cumbersome, subject to damage in commercial applications, and, at
best, provides inadequate, spatially displaced visual feedback.
     (3)  There presently exists no inexpensive solution that
provides adequate feedback and does not force users to adjust to a
fixed camera position.

      The solution to these problems presented here is to mount a
mirror on the front of a camera, with a hole in the mirror for the
lens to "see through" (see the figure).  A user can see his or her
face in the mirror, and can adjust the camera, appropriately.  For
any given distance and focal length of the camera, a mirror size can
be chosen that will show what will be seen by the camera.  The figure
shows a camera behind a mirror which has a hole in it.
Alternatively, the mirror can have its silver backing removed to form
a "hole." Or, alternatively, the "hole" can be a half-silvered spo...