Browse Prior Art Database

Integrated Computer and Camera

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000113860D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 4 page(s) / 163K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Mosley, JM: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a concept of merging a computer with a camera in such a way that the display screen of the computer functions as a viewfinder of the camera. Digital images are stored in solid state files or on magnetic media in electronic memory formats, to be transferred wherever they are needed. While such a device can be easily portable, a non-portable system of this kind may be used in applications such as videoconferencing.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 44% of the total text.

Integrated Computer and Camera

      Disclosed is a concept of merging a computer with a camera in
such a way that the display screen of the computer functions as a
viewfinder of the camera.  Digital images are stored in solid state
files or on magnetic media in electronic memory formats, to be
transferred wherever they are needed.  While such a device can be
easily portable, a non-portable system of this kind may be used in
applications such as videoconferencing.

      Fig. 1 is a block diagram of major components of the system.
Traditional personal computer components 10 are connected to an image
capturing system 12.  The image captured by optics 14, such as a
lens, is converted to electronic information by a CCD 16 (Charge
Coupled Device).  In image electronics 18, the image information is
converted into a format which can be used by personal computer
components 10 to display the image.  Image electronics 18 may also
include means for compressing images to reduce the space required for
their storage.

      Image capturing subsystem 12 is plugged into computer system
10, being connected to the system bus 20 through system bus
controller
22.  In this way, the image capturing subsystem 12 is operated under
the
control of microprocessor 24, with inputs provided through a keyboard
(not shown) or digitizer (not shown).  The operation of subsystem 12
is
further controlled by software running on the computer system.
Operating
with the software interface, the keyboard or digitizer controls such
camera functions as lens focus and shutter timing.

      Using the system is as easy as pointing the device while
looking at the resulting image on the screen.  The digitized image
from image electronics 18 is received, pixel by pixel or in a
compressed form, by computer components 10, for storage in the system
memory 26, through memory controller 28, and for transmission to the
display subsystem including video controller 30, video RAM (Random
Access Memory) 32 and the display device 34.  This image transmission
process may occur repeatedly, so that the image displayed by display
device 34 appears to be continuously updated; or image transmission
may occur only when a shutter button (not shown) is depressed.  In
either case, once the picture is taken, the user can determine
whether to retain the image or to record a new image in its memory
space.  This decision may be based, for example, on the composition
of the image, on the effects of lighting and lens focus, and on
general
factors, such as the facial expression of a human subject.  Trial
exposures can be made in this way without using film or otherwise
incurring expenses.  To be retained, an image is transferred from
video
RAM 32 to a form of permanent storage.  Methods of permanent storage
include recording the data on fixed or removable media in a
Direct-Access
Storage Device (DASD) unit, recording the data in a Solid State File
of
card built to Personal Computer Memo...