Apple patent filing involves in-vehicle camera for capturing scenes outside the car

Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has filed for a patent (number 20190313063) for a “method and system for providing at least one image captured by a scene camera of a vehicle.”

In the patent filing, Apple says such a system could be used to record an event happening around a police vehicle. It could also encourage safe driving by recording images of the surface of the road and part of the vehicle. And in the event of an accident the recorded images can be used as proof of safe driving. 

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In less important scenarios, such a car-mounted camera could snap a picture of a person wearing an item of clothing that piques the driver or occupant of a car. I guess it could also be used by “stalkers,” but, hey, no tech is perfect.

Here’s a summary of the invention: “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.”

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.