Patents by Inventor Alexander Shpunt

Alexander Shpunt has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10795001
    Abstract: An electro-optical device includes a laser light source, which is configured to emit at least one beam of light. A beam steering device is configured to transmit and scan the at least one beam across a target scene. In an array of sensing elements, each sensing element is configured to output a signal indicative of incidence of photons on the sensing element. Light collection optics are configured to image the target scene scanned by the transmitted beam onto the array, wherein the beam steering device scans the at least one beam across the target scene with a spot size and scan resolution that are smaller than a pitch of the sensing elements. Circuitry is coupled to actuate the sensing elements only in a selected region of the array and to sweep the selected region over the array in synchronization with scanning of the at least one beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: Cristiano L. Niclass, Alexander Shpunt, Gennadiy A. Agranov, Matthew C. Waldon, Mina A. Rezk, Thierry Oggier
  • Patent number: 10791320
    Abstract: A method for depth mapping includes providing depth mapping resources, including a radiation source, which projects optical radiation into a volume of interest containing an object, and a sensor, which senses the optical radiation reflected from the object. The volume of interest has a depth that varies with angle relative to the radiation source and the sensor. A depth map of the object is generated using the resources while applying at least one of the resources non-uniformly over the volume of interest, responsively to the varying depth as a function of the angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2020
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: Alexander Shpunt, Zafrir Mor
  • Publication number: 20200304771
    Abstract: A direct retinal projector system that provides dynamic focusing for virtual reality (VR) and/or augmented reality (AR) is described. A direct retinal projector system scans images, pixel by pixel, directly onto the subject's retinas. This allows individual pixels to be optically affected dynamically as the images are scanned to the subject's retinas. Dynamic focusing components and techniques are described that may be used in a direct retinal projector system to dynamically and correctly focus each pixel in VR images as the images are being scanned to a subject's eyes. This allows objects, surfaces, etc. that are intended to appear at different distances in a scene to be projected to the subject's eyes at the correct depths.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 5, 2020
    Publication date: September 24, 2020
    Applicant: Apple Inc.
    Inventor: Alexander Shpunt
  • Patent number: 10775612
    Abstract: Optical apparatus includes a shaft, which is configured to rotate about an axis of the shaft relative to a base. A mirror is fixed to the shaft so that the mirror rotates about the axis. A rotor including a permanent magnet is fixed to rotate with the shaft. A stator is configured to generate a magnetic field having a DC component in a vicinity of the rotor. A torsion spring, extending along the axis, has a first end that is attached to rotate with the shaft and a second end attached to the base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: Alexander Shpunt, Yuval Gerson
  • Patent number: 10775508
    Abstract: A compact remote sensing device is described that includes a transmit component that scans a beam of light across a scene or object field, and a receive component that receives return light from the object field. The transmit component includes a small, fast scanning mechanism such as a MEMS mirror or a piezo mirror that scans a beam of light emitted by a light source across a field of view (FOV). The receive component includes a focal plane array (FPA) with a FOV at least large enough to capture the FOV of the scanning mechanism. The FPA may be a low resolution FPA (i.e., with fewer pixels than the resolution of the scanning mechanism), and the light beam may be scanned and captured at multiple spots within the pixels of the FPA.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Mina A. Rezk, Alexander Shpunt
  • Patent number: 10775507
    Abstract: An electro-optical device includes a laser, which is configured to emit toward a scene pulses of optical radiation. An array of detectors are configured to receive the optical radiation that is reflected from points in the scene and to output signals indicative of respective times of arrival of the received radiation. A controller is coupled to drive the laser to emit a sequence of pulses of the optical radiation toward each of a plurality of points in the scene and to find respective times of flight for the points responsively to the output signals, while controlling a power of the pulses emitted by the laser by counting a number of the detectors outputting the signals in response to each pulse, and reducing the power of a subsequent pulse in the sequence when the number is greater than a predefined threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: Shingo Mandai, Cristiano L Niclass, Richard E Bills, Moshe Laifenfeld, Mina A. Rezk, Alexander Shpunt, Ron Sokolovsky, Tal Kaitz, Ronen Akerman, Jason D. Mudge, Andrew J Sutton
  • Patent number: 10768411
    Abstract: A scanning device includes a base containing one or more rotational bearings disposed along a gimbal axis. A gimbal includes a shaft that fits into the rotational bearings so that the gimbal rotates about the gimbal axis relative to the base. A mirror assembly includes a semiconductor substrate, which has been etched and coated to define a support, which is fixed to the gimbal, at least one mirror, contained within the support, and a connecting member connecting the at least one mirror to the support and defining at least one mirror axis, about which the at least one mirror rotates relative to the support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2020
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: Raviv Erlich, Alexander Shpunt, Yuval Gerson
  • Patent number: 10739599
    Abstract: A Predictive, Foveated Virtual Reality System may capture views of the world around a user using multiple resolutions. The Predictive, Foveated Virtual Reality System may include one or more cameras configured to capture lower resolution image data for a peripheral field of view while capturing higher resolution image data for a narrow field of view corresponding to a user's line of sight. Additionally, the Predictive, Foveated Virtual Reality System may also include one or more sensors or other mechanisms, such as gaze tracking modules or accelerometers, to detect or track motion. A Predictive, Foveated Virtual Reality System may also predict, based on a user's head and eye motion, the user's future line of sight and may capture image data corresponding to a predicted line of sight. When the user subsequently looks in that direction the system may display the previously captured (and augmented) view.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventor: Alexander Shpunt
  • Patent number: 10739460
    Abstract: Apparatus for mapping includes an illumination assembly, which projects a line of radiation extending in a first direction across a scene. A detection assembly receives the radiation reflected from the scene within a sensing area that contains at least a part of the line of the radiation, and includes a linear array of detector elements and objective optics, which focus the reflected radiation from the sensing area onto the linear array. A scanning mirror scans the line of radiation and the sensing area together over the scene in a second direction, which is perpendicular to the first direction. Processing circuitry processes signals output by the detector elements in response to the received radiation in order to construct a three-dimensional (3D) map of an object in the scene.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: Alexander Shpunt, Yuval Gerson
  • Patent number: 10721459
    Abstract: Apparatus for mapping includes a radiation source, which is configured to emit at least one beam of radiation, and a detector and optics, which define a sensing area of the detector. A scanner is configured to receive and scan the at least one beam over a selected angular range within a region of interest while scanning the sensing area over the selected angular range in synchronization with the at least one beam from the radiation source. A processor is configured to process signals output by the detector in order to construct a three-dimensional (3D) map of an object in the region of interest.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2020
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: Alexander Shpunt, Benny Pesach, Ronen Akerman
  • Patent number: 10719214
    Abstract: Operating a computerized system includes presenting user interface elements on a display screen. A first gesture made in a three-dimensional space by a by a distal portion of an upper extremity of a user is detected while a segment of the distal portion thereof rests on a surface. In response to the first gesture, an area of the display screen selected by the user is identified, and a corresponding user interface element is displayed. After displaying the corresponding user interface element, a second gesture made by the distal portion is detected while the segment continues to rest on the surface so as to select one of the user interface elements that appears in the selected area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2020
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: Aviad Maizels, Alexander Shpunt, Shai Litvak
  • Publication number: 20200219277
    Abstract: A method for depth mapping includes receiving optical radiation reflected from multiple points on an object and processing the received optical radiation to generate depth data including multiple candidate depth coordinates for each of a plurality of pixels and respective measures of confidence associated with the candidate depth coordinates. One of the candidate depth coordinates is selected at each of the plurality of the pixels responsively to the respective measures of confidence. A depth map of the object is output, including the selected one of the candidate depth coordinates at each of the plurality of the pixels.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 16, 2020
    Publication date: July 9, 2020
    Inventors: Alexander Shpunt, Gerard Medioni, Daniel Cohen, Erez Sali, Ronen Deitch
  • Patent number: 10681328
    Abstract: A direct retinal projector system that provides dynamic focusing for virtual reality (VR) and/or augmented reality (AR) is described. A direct retinal projector system scans images, pixel by pixel, directly onto the subject's retinas. This allows individual pixels to be optically affected dynamically as the images are scanned to the subject's retinas. Dynamic focusing components and techniques are described that may be used in a direct retinal projector system to dynamically and correctly focus each pixel in VR images as the images are being scanned to a subject's eyes. This allows objects, surfaces, etc. that are intended to appear at different distances in a scene to be projected to the subject's eyes at the correct depths.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventor: Alexander Shpunt
  • Publication number: 20200158831
    Abstract: An electro-optical device includes a laser light source, which is configured to emit at least one beam of light. A beam steering device is configured to transmit and scan the at least one beam across a target scene. In an array of sensing elements, each sensing element is configured to output a signal indicative of incidence of photons on the sensing element. Light collection optics are configured to image the target scene scanned by the transmitted beam onto the array, wherein the beam steering device scans the at least one beam across the target scene with a spot size and scan resolution that are smaller than a pitch of the sensing elements. Circuitry is coupled to actuate the sensing elements only in a selected region of the array and to sweep the selected region over the array in synchronization with scanning of the at least one beam.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 15, 2019
    Publication date: May 21, 2020
    Inventors: Cristiano L. Niclass, Alexander Shpunt, Gennadiy A. Agranov, Matthew C. Waldon, Mina A. Rezk, Thierry Oggier
  • Patent number: 10634843
    Abstract: An optoelectronic device includes a substrate, having a recess formed therein. An optical isolator is mounted in the recess. A laser includes a stack of epitaxial layers on the substrate and emits a beam of radiation toward the recess along a direction parallel to a surface of the substrate. A waveguide directs the beam emitted by the laser into the optical isolator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2020
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: Igal I. Bayn, Andrew J. Sutton, Alexander Shpunt, Jason S. Pelc, Mark A. Arbore
  • Patent number: 10636155
    Abstract: A method for depth mapping includes acquiring first depth data with respect to an object using a first depth mapping technique and providing first candidate depth coordinates for a plurality of pixels, and acquiring second depth data with respect to the object using a second depth mapping technique, different from the first depth mapping technique, and providing second candidate depth coordinates for the plurality of pixels. A weighted voting process is applied to the first and second depth data in order to select one of the candidate depth coordinates at each pixel. A depth map of the object is output, including the selected one of the candidate depth coordinates at each pixel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2020
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: Alexander Shpunt, Gerard Medioni, Daniel Cohen, Erez Sali, Ronen Deitch
  • Patent number: 10634770
    Abstract: Optical systems that may, for example, be used in remote sensing systems, for example in systems that implement combining laser pulse transmission in LiDAR and that include dual transmit and receive systems. A dual receiver system may include a receiver including an optical system with a relatively small aperture and wide field of view for capturing reflected light from short-range (e.g., <20 meters) objects, and a receiver that includes an optical system with a relatively large aperture and small field of view for capturing reflected light from long-range (e.g., >20 meters) objects. The optical systems may refract the reflected light to photodetectors (e.g., single photo-avalanche detectors (SPADs)) that capture the light. Light captured at the photodetectors may, for example, be used to determine range information for objects or surfaces in the environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2020
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Chandra S. Kakani, Alexander Shpunt, Mina A. Rezk, Robert S. Upton, Yuval Gerson
  • Patent number: 10609357
    Abstract: Imaging apparatus includes an illumination assembly, including a plurality of radiation sources and projection optics, which are configured to project radiation from the radiation sources onto different, respective regions of a scene. An imaging assembly includes an image sensor and objective optics configured to form an optical image of the scene on the image sensor, which includes an array of sensor elements arranged in multiple groups, which are triggered by a rolling shutter to capture the radiation from the scene in successive, respective exposure periods from different, respective areas of the scene so as to form an electronic image of the scene. A controller is coupled to actuate the radiation sources sequentially in a pulsed mode so that the illumination assembly illuminates the different, respective areas of the scene in synchronization with the rolling shutter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2020
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: Zafrir Mor, Alexander Shpunt
  • Patent number: 10608002
    Abstract: A system for object reconstruction includes an illuminating unit, comprising a light source and a generator of a non-periodic pattern. A diffractive optical element (DOE) is disposed in an optical path of illuminating light propagating from the illuminating unit toward an object, thereby projecting the non-periodic pattern onto an object. An imaging unit detects a light response of an illuminated region and generating image data indicative of the object within the projected pattern. A processor reconstructs a three-dimensional (3D) map of the object responsively to a shift of the pattern in the image data relative to a reference image of the pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2020
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Zeev Zalevsky, Alexander Shpunt, Aviad Maizels, Javier Garcia
  • Publication number: 20200096615
    Abstract: An optical device includes a transmitter, which emits a beam of optical radiation, and a receiver, which includes a detector configured to output a signal in response to the optical radiation. An active area of the detector has a first dimension along a first axis and a second dimension, which is less than the first dimension, along a second axis perpendicular to the first axis. An anamorphic lens, which collects and focuses the optical radiation onto the active area of the detector, has a first focal length in a first plane containing the first axis and a second focal length, greater than the first focal length, in a second plane containing the second axis. A scanner scans the beam across a target scene in a scan direction that is aligned with the first axis, and directs the optical radiation that is reflected from the target scene toward the receiver.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 18, 2019
    Publication date: March 26, 2020
    Inventors: Robert S. Upton, Alexander Shpunt, Andrew J. Sutton, Chandra S. Kakani, Yuval Gerson