Patents Represented by Attorney Francis H. Boos
  • Patent number: 6542179
    Abstract: A film scanner illuminant system with a light integrator module for creating an homogenous light illuminant from a light source. Temporal variations in light beam profiles from the light source which introduce low level temporal variations in the spatial homogeneity of light from the integrator are reduced below level of perceptibility by use of a light shaping diffuser to diffuse the beam of input light at the light input port of the light integrator. Preferably asymmetric light diffusers are used although some additional advantage is obtainable by use of spherical diffusers. The diffuser may be used with a variety of known light integrator configurations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2003
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Andrew F. Kurtz, Allen D. Bellinger, Gregory O. Moberg
  • Patent number: 6474795
    Abstract: A continuous inkjet printer in which a continuous ink stream is deflected at the printhead nozzle bore without the need for charged deflection plates or tunnels. The printhead includes a primary ink delivery channel which delivers a primary flow of pressurized ink through an ink staging chamber to the nozzle bore to create an undeflected ink stream from the printhead. A secondary ink delivery channel adjacent to the primary channel is controlled by a thermally actuated valve to selectively create a lateral flow of pressurized ink into the primary flow thereby causing the emitted ink stream to deflect in a direction opposite to the direction from which the secondary ink stream impinges the primary ink stream in the ink staging chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2002
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: John A. Lebens, Christopher N. Delametter, David P. Trauernicht
  • Patent number: 6462772
    Abstract: In a photographic film digital image scanner, long term adverse effects on image scanning system response are compensated for by establishing an initial gain calibration profile in advance of commencing image scanning operation. A reference Dmin value is established at the same time, preferably from film Dmin regions associated with the bar code pattern located in the leader portion of the film. When image scanning operation is commenced, an updated Dmin value is established for the frame being scanned and the initial gain calibration profile is adjusted by multiplying the pixel-by-pixel values in the profile by the ratio of the reference Dmin over the up-dated frame-specific Dmin value. Preferably, the same image sensor photosites used to establish the reference Dmin value are used for establishing the frame-specific Dmin value and the readings are taken from Dmin regions of the film associated the bar code pattern adjacent the frame to be scanned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2002
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: Steven M. Bryant
  • Patent number: 6380915
    Abstract: An EL backlight device drive circuit useful with a camera LCD display. The backlight device is connected to the flash storage capacitor of the camera flash circuit for its energy source. Pulsing of the DC voltage from the storage capacitor is accomplished by a switching transistor coupled across the EL backlight device driven from a fixed duty cycle pulse source via an AC coupled pulse differentiating circuit. The AC coupled circuit reduces the On time duty cycle of the transistor relative to the pulse train duty thereby increasing the ON time duty cycle of the EL backlight device to increase its light output operating efficiency. With increased operating efficiency, a higher value coupling resistor is inserted between the EL backlight device and flash storage capacitor to thereby limit the AC current through the EL backlight device to a predetermined safety operating level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Paul Teremy, Dennis R. Zander
  • Patent number: 6351608
    Abstract: A one-time-use camera with a built-in flash unit and an external flash unit system in which the external flash unit is devoid of a charger circuit and battery power supply. The external flash unit is connected to the camera built-in flash unit's flash capacitor and flash trigger circuit via interconnecting terminals provided on the camera and external flash unit. The external flash unit includes circuit means for disabling camera flash trigger circuit so as to prevent the camera flash emission device from operating. A signal pulse is sent from the camera trigger circuit to an SCR trigger switch in the external flash trigger switch to initiate flash operation in the external flash unit. By virtue of mounting the flash emission device of the external unit farther away from the taking lens than the built-in flash device and disabling the operation of the internal flash unit, red-eye on the subject being photographed is substantially eliminated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2002
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: Douglas W. Constable
  • Patent number: 6351321
    Abstract: A system for scanning film image frames containing both an image and recorded information optically imprinted on the image by a camera and reproducing the image with enhanced text reproduction. In print or Photo CD image reproductions, the text appears outside the reproduced image or is enhanced within the reproduced image for better readability. Recorded information is detected in the lateral and longitudinal stripe regions of the film image frame where such information is typically exposed by a camera having the capability is analyzed for its characteristic color hue and pattern. When present, the recorded characters or code patterns are recognized or decoded into ASCII code and formatted for printing or writing to Photo CD to appear as enhanced font text. In a full frame operating mode, an ID code of the data bits corresponding to the characters or code is generated for use in a re-touching algorithm to fill in the data bits so that the full image frame may be printed or recorded to Photo CD.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2002
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Dale Frederick McIntyre, Joseph Anthony Manico
  • Patent number: 6276774
    Abstract: An imaging apparatus capable of inhibiting inadvertent ejection of a satellite ink droplet and method of assembling same. The imaging apparatus comprises a print head transducer including a pair of sidewalls defining a chamber therebetween, the channel having the ink body disposed therein. The transducer is in fluid communication with the ink body for inducing a first pressure wave in the ink body in order to eject an ink droplet. A waveform generator is connected to the transducer for supplying voltage waveforms to the transducer, so that the transducer induces pressure waves in the ink body. However, the first pressure wave has a reflected portion formed by the first pressure wave reflecting from the sidewalls. The reflected portion is sufficient to otherwise inadvertently eject unintended satellite ink droplets. Thus, a sensor is in fluid communication with the ink body for sensing the reflected portion and is connected to the transducer for inducing a second pressure wave in the ink body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2001
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Omid A. Moghadam, Anthony R. Lubinsky, Christopher N. Delametter, Thomas E. Kocher
  • Patent number: 6275658
    Abstract: A multi-zone autofocus system for a still camera having at least three autofocus distance zone focus settings in which a two-zone autoranging circuit is operated sequentially at different threshold settings corresponding to different distances from the camera under control of a microprocessor to enable discrimination among at least three focus zone settings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: Dennis R. Zander
  • Patent number: 6271941
    Abstract: An illuminant head assembly for a photographic film image scanner includes a linear light source, preferably a linear array of spectrally distinct illuminant elements combined with a main body having an elongate light conducting channel aligned with the light source and having a light pipe in the light conducting channel, the light pipe having a light diffusion material dispersed therein. The illuminant head assembly in a preferred embodiment includes additional light sources at one or both ends of the linear array and the main body includes additional light channels aligned with the additional light sources, the additional light sources and channels serving as illuminant sources for scanning marginal regions of the photographic film in the film scanner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2001
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Stephen C. Arnold, Robert E. Ashe, Dana A. Carlile, Mary-Irene E. Condo, Thomas D. Jensen, R. Winfield Trafton
  • Patent number: 6263288
    Abstract: A photographic film scanner having magnetic data read capability is provided with a function that senses an unacceptably high electromagnetic noise interference in the read head output, such as might be caused by the scanner being too close to a host computer monitor, and that outputs a warning to the user to alert the user to the need to move the scanner farther away from the monitor. The warning can be in the form of a visual display, such as a warning message displayed on the computer monitor or a blinking red light on the scanner. Alternatively, or else in conjunction with the visual warning, it can be an audible warning such as a voice message or a beeping sound.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2001
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: Steven M. Bryant
  • Patent number: 6259862
    Abstract: A camera auxiliary light system provides supplemental illumination for a passive ranging system in determining camera-to-object distance, provides a self-timer activation status light to persons in a scene, provides a point of visible light to assist in aiming the camera, and provides red-eye reduction illumination. Thus, multiple functions are performed by a single auxiliary light, thereby reducing the number of camera elements and reducing camera cost, size, and weight. The system includes an auxiliary light source, a mode control switch that selects between a self-timer mode, a red-eye reduction mode, and a flash defeat mode, a light sensor that receives light from the scene and produces a signal that indicates the relative amount of light that was received, and a light source controller that controls operation of the auxiliary light source in response to actuation of a shutter release of the camera.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2001
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: John Anthony Marino, James Vergil Leavy
  • Patent number: 6256118
    Abstract: In a low cost film scanner, a CCD image sensor is precision aligned to a film plane scanning aperture and is mounted to the an intervening imaging housing assembly by means of a radiation (UV) curable adhesive of appropriate viscosity. With the sensor positioned within but in spaced apart relationship to a sensor housing segment of the housing assembly, the adhesive is injected through a mounting hole in a wall of the housing segment to adhere to the image sensor. An excess amount of the injected adhesive forms a cap over the mounting hole. The viscosity of the adhesive is such as the allow the adhesive to generally maintain its shape in the space between the sensor and the wall of the sensor housing segment. The spacing of the sensor from the sensor housing segment allows six degrees of freedom of movement of the sensor during the alignment operation after which the injected adhesive is curing in situ to form a sensor mount fastener with the sensor is precise alignment with the film plane aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2001
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Charles J. Moriarty, Dennis E. Boldt
  • Patent number: 6249648
    Abstract: In a camera having a single battery cell power source, a flash apparatus is provided in combination with an optical data recording circuit in which energy to illuminate an LED illumination device in the recording circuit is derived from charging current through the flash capacitor generated by a “one touch” self oscillating charging circuit. A resistor element is connected in circuit with the flash capacitor across the charge voltage output terminals of the charging circuit. An oscillation start terminal of the charging circuit and the illumination device of the recording circuit are coupled through respective normally reverse biased diodes to the normally open contact of a flash synchronization switch. Closure of the synchronization switch forward biases the diodes to start the charging circuit and to connect the illumination device across the resistor element to activate the illumination device during the brief period the flash synchronization switch is closed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2001
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: Douglas W. Constable
  • Patent number: 6249358
    Abstract: Gain factors for correcting pixel to pixel variations in system response in a multi-pixel scanner array are determined by calculating gain factors for a so-called “open gate” condition (with no film present), by calculating gain factors for a so-called “Dmin” condition (looking at the minimum density of the film), and by selectively combining the “open gate” gains and “Dmin” gains to create composite set of gain factors which overcome the shortcomings of using either original set of gains alone. The composite gain factors can be a proportional sum of the two original sets of gains with the proportionality changing on a pixel-by-pixel basis to select more of one set of gains or the other set of gains. A number of discriminating functions are disclosed which may be used to calculate the proportionality based on some understanding of how the presence of film changes the characteristics of the scanning system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2001
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Steven M. Bryant, John T. Compton
  • Patent number: 6229964
    Abstract: An icon reader reads picture identification data from a data icon on an image print. This data is used to determine the location of a corresponding sound bite contained in a memory module and for playing the sound bite. The memory module contains sound bites recorded at the camera during picture taking. The icon reader includes a data reader module that optically scans the data icon from one location to read the picture identification data. The icon reader further includes a decoder for decoding the encoded picture identification data, and a data port for selective communication with the memory module. In one embodiment, the icon reader is structured to be a self-contained sound playback apparatus in which a sound IC card is docked to the data port and, in another embodiment, the icon reader is coupled with a wireless communication device for communicating the decoded picture identification data to a remote memory archive unit having built-in sound playback apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2001
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: Cynthia S. Bell
  • Patent number: 6211975
    Abstract: A photographic film scanner has a line integration light sensor and a programmed controller which employs a plurality of lookup tables (LUT) sequenced by a common timer to control the timing of data collection and transfer to an asynchronously operating host computer. Delays in the transfer of image data to the host computer which exceed the light sensor line integration time can cause the integrated pixel scan information to become corrupted. Data corruption caused by delays in excess of line integration time is avoided by disabling the light sources and the related image scan operations until it is determined that prior line data transfer to the host is completed whereupon the accumulated data is collected and transferred to the host computer and normal scan operations are re-initiated. Even with the LEDs disabled, excessive build-up of dark current in the light sensors can corrupt the accumulated image information in the light sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2001
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: Steven M. Bryant
  • Patent number: 6206287
    Abstract: A bar code reader particularly useful in a photographic film scanner of the type employing a light source and CCD array for sensing the bar code elements. Lateral location of the bar code pattern is established by analyzing the output of the CCD array within a bar code detection window to determine the location of a longitudinal edge transition of the line of clock elements in the bar code pattern and then to use clock and data element detection windows at spaced locations from the line of clock edge transition to read the encoded values of the bar code. In one embodiment, the line of transition between the clock and data elements is used as the line of longitudinal edge transition of the line of clock elements. In another embodiment, the longitudinal clock edge transition remote from the data elements and adjacent the central image frame region is used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2001
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: John L. Wasula, Steven M. Bryant
  • Patent number: 6178016
    Abstract: A compact, low-cost photographic film scanner particularly adapted to scanning Advance Photo System (APS) film includes an imaging assembly having an elongated L-shaped housing with a photosensor, e.g. a CCD, mounted directly to one end of the housing, the other end having a scanning aperture and film rails integrally formed on the housing, the film rails defining a film plane over the scanning aperture. The housing comprises a two piece snap together configuration that provides support for the focusing lens as well the photosensor and film scan gate. Additionally, the housing includes support arms that receive and lock in place an LED illuminant head assembly. The imaging apparatus housing conveniently snap locks into place on the scanner chassis in an opening formed in the film drive path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2001
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Robert E. Ashe, R. Winfield Trafton, Thomas D. Jensen, Stephen C. Arnold
  • Patent number: 6173623
    Abstract: A dual speed film drive apparatus to achieve high speed and low speed film drive employs a limited speed range stepper motor with pinion input drive gear, and an output driven gear connected to a film advance mechanism. High and low speed drive is achieved by use of a pivoted intermediate gear drive module having high speed and low speed gear set positions to interconnect the stepper motor input drive gear to the output driven gear. Shifting of the gear module between gear set positions is accomplished by a DC motor operated cam drive mechanism which pivots the gear module selectively between the high speed and low speed gear set positions. An open loop control gear mesh procedure is also described for meshing the high speed and low speed intermediate gear drives with the input drive gear and output driven gear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2001
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: David A. Castor, Theodore R. Kolb
  • Patent number: 6147742
    Abstract: A photofinishing system for automatically processing image and associated image data pursuant to customer output requests. The system includes an order manager operative to receive and control processing of the output requests and at least one source of image related data corresponding to the output request. An input interface receives the image related data from the source and converts the data to a digital data stream. A memory is included for storing the digital data stream. The system further includes a data parser disposed in communication with the memory to extract selected data streams according to the order manager and to reduce the data into respective image files having respective groups of data fields. An output module is responsive to the order manager and is operative to produce a photofinished output organized with respect to the data fields.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Cynthia S. Bell, David L. Patton, Stephen J. Rowan, Wayne F. Niskala, Arthur A. Whitfield