Apple files patent to use accelerometer and gyroscope for video stabilization

Apple has filed a patent to use the accelerometer and gyroscope in conjunction with the video camera of your device to improve image stabilization. The three core features could work together to hugely improve the look of your videos.

Embodiments of the present invention provide a control system for video processes that selectively control the operation of motion stabilization processes. According to the present invention, motion sensor data indicative of motion of a mobile device may be received and processed. A determination may be made by comparing processed motion sensor data to a threshold. Based on the determination, motion stabilization may be suspended on select portions of a captured video sequence.

There are already software based video stabilization techniques that are widely used. The problem with software based solutions is the resources they use on the device; this can seriously reduce battery life. Not a great compromise on a portable device. Also the results can be very erratic.

Apple does point out within the filing that even this hardware method can produce far from perfect results. I guess the only real solutions to the shaky video problem is a tripod or to work on those arm muscles!

Source: Apple Insider


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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

Apple files patent to use accelerometer and gyroscope for video stabilization


One of the prime reasons that I own Camera+ is the stabilization feature. It works great. If both the accelerometer and gyro are used in conjunction with one another, this should provide for even better still photos as well as that awful shaking that you see in amateur videographers. (You know who you are. :D)

Exactly, other cameraphones might use software, but hardware stabilization has existed in standalone cameras for some time... can Apple really patent just the (I guess) first use in a smartphone?

I guess we see the first past the post in the patent world in action again and then let the lawsuits fly on this as well.

I hope this gets denied and sent back to Apple saying "too broad, show your work" There's companies that make cameras that use accelerometers and gyroscopes for image stabilization.

They need to implement this technology into a DSLR for videos. I am a film maker and that would make it so much easier to get steady shots instead of the steadicam and vest.

Question for the tech people.... could this be implemented in a iOS update to preexisting phones, or do they require "pretweaked" or pre-prepared accelerometers/gyros that the current gens don't have?

You know, I had wondered if apple patented the auto landscape by accelerometer feature because that's used by everything now after the iphone1 emerged.

A concept patent should at least be non obvious and novel. This is neither.
Image stabilisation systems that use a combination of accelerometers and gyroscopes have been used for years in stills and video camera platforms for model helicopters. Most of this solid state technology was developed specifically for RC flight.