Apple wants you to be able to easily take photos with an iPhone mounted on a vehicle dashboard, per a newly granted patent (number 10,757,373) for a “method and system for providing at least one image captured by a scene camera of a vehicle.” Of course, it could also involve an automobile with a built-in camera for those who like the “Apple Car” rumors.
Why the need for such a camera system? Let’s say that you’re the driver or passenger in a car. As you’re driving/riding along, you see something on the side of the road that intrigues you. You may be interested in further identifying the object of interest and/or in determining similar objects.
It could be something you wish to buy. Apple’s idea is to provide a camera system that would identify objects and, if it’s something you want to buy, even allow you to order them on-line while still in the car. (Well, if you’re the passenger; the driver obviously shouldn’t be trying to place an online order while steering.)
Here’s the summary of the patent: “The present disclosure relates to a method of providing at least one image of at least one real object captured by at least one scene camera of a plurality of scene cameras mounted on a vehicle. The method includes: providing camera poses of respective scene cameras of the plurality of scene cameras relative to a reference coordinate system associated with the vehicle, providing user attention data related to a user captured by an information capturing device, providing at least one attention direction relative to the reference coordinate system from the user attention data, determining at least one of the scene cameras among the plurality of scene cameras according to the at least one attention direction and the respective camera pose of the at least one of the scene cameras, and providing at least one image of at least one real object captured by the at least one of the scene cameras.”