A device combines video feeds from multiple cameras to provide wide-field-of-view, high-resolution, stereoscopic video to the user. The prototype under development consists of two camera assemblies, one for each eye. One of these assemblies incorporates a mounting structure with multiple cameras attached at offset angles. The video signals from the cameras are fed to a central processing platform where each frame is color processed and mapped into a single contiguous wide-field-of-view image. Because the resolution of most display devices is typically smaller than the processed map, a cropped portion of the video feed is output to the display device. The positioning of the cropped window will likely be controlled through the use of a head tracking device, allowing the user to turn his or her head side-to-side or up and down to view different portions of the captured image. There are multiple options for the display of the stereoscopic image. The use of head mounted displays is one likely implementation. However, the use of 3D projection technologies is another potential technology under consideration.
The technology can be adapted in a multitude of ways. The computing platform is scalable, such that the number, resolution, and sensitivity of the cameras can be leveraged to improve image resolution and field of view. Miniaturization efforts can be pursued to shrink the package down for better mobility. Power savings studies can be performed to enable unattended, remote sensing packages. Image compression and transmission technologies can be incorporated to enable an improved telepresence experience.
This work was done by Eric F. Prechtl of Axis Engineering Technologies, Inc., and Raymond J. Sedwick of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for Johnson Space Center. For further information, contact the JSC Innovation Partnerships Office at (281) 483-3809.
In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to:
Axis Engineering Technologies, Inc.
One Broadway, 14th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142
Phone No.: (617) 225-4414
Fax No.: (617) 225-4439
Refer to MSC-23977-1, volume and number of this NASA Tech Briefs issue, and the page number.