A newly published Apple patent titled “Accelerometer/Gyro-Facilitated Video Stabilization” reveals the company’s plans to offer a video stabilization system to iOS users utilizing the wide array of sensors available on iOS devices. This would eliminate the shakiness in a video when shot while moving and result in much better video captures.
Presently all video stabilising algorithms hog up a lot of system resources which reduces the overall performance of the device, especially mobile devices. The filing says that some algorithms might even generate incorrect estimates which would hamper the quality of a video instead of improving it. An excerpt from the patent reads:
“Increasingly, consumer capture devices are provisioned with motion detection devices such as accelerometers and/or gyroscopes. The motion detection devices can provide metadata that indicates motion effects of a camera during video capture, however, even though the motion detectors provide data relating to global motion of the camera, the level of shakiness between frames often is comparable to the noise level of the motion detector data. Such high level of the noise in data prohibits directly use of accelerometer data in video stabilization.”
Apple’s solution proposes the use of the on-board accelerometer and gyroscope present on most iOS devices to allow the algorithm to kick in only when determined to be necessary thus saving up on battery life. Based on continuous input from these sensors it would also suspend the algorithm when stabilisation isn’t required.
The patent says that such a system could be implemented in hardware, software or a combination of both. The images below describe the flow of events in such an algorithm:
It remains to be seen if or when this technology would make it to Apple products. We have our fingers crossed.