(19)
(11)EP 2 998 935 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
18.07.2018 Bulletin 2018/29

(21)Application number: 14798199.7

(22)Date of filing:  28.03.2014
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
G06T 7/20(2017.01)
G06T 3/00(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2014/059110
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/185170 (20.11.2014 Gazette  2014/47)

(54)

IMAGE PROCESSING DEVICE, IMAGE PROCESSING METHOD, AND PROGRAM

BILDVERARBEITUNGSVORRICHTUNG, BILDVERARBEITUNGSVERFAHREN UND PROGRAMM

DISPOSITIF DE TRAITEMENT D'IMAGE, MÉTHODE DE TRAITEMENT D'IMAGE, ET PROGRAMME


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 16.05.2013 JP 2013103671

(43)Date of publication of application:
23.03.2016 Bulletin 2016/12

(73)Proprietor: Sony Corporation
Tokyo 108-0075 (JP)

(72)Inventor:
  • MATSUMOTO, Kazuteru
    Tokyo 108-0075 (JP)

(74)Representative: D Young & Co LLP 
120 Holborn
London EC1N 2DY
London EC1N 2DY (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2011/114610
JP-A- H11 331 827
JP-A- 2005 269 419
JP-A- 2011 040 898
US-A1- 2012 045 149
JP-A- H11 331 827
JP-A- 2004 228 737
JP-A- 2006 285 546
JP-A- 2011 064 566
  
  • STRATMANN I: "Omnidirectional maging and optical flow", OMNIDIRECTIONAL VISION, 2002. PROCEEDINGS. THIRD WORKSHOP ON 2 JUNE 2002, PISCATAWAY, NJ, USA,IEEE, 1 January 2002 (2002-01-01), pages 104-111, XP010611082, ISBN: 978-0-7695-1629-5
  • JIE SUN ET AL: "Calibration and Correction for Omnidirectional Image with a Fisheye Lens", NATURAL COMPUTATION, 2008. ICNC '08. FOURTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON, IEEE, PISCATAWAY, NJ, USA, 18 October 2008 (2008-10-18), pages 133-137, XP031358912, ISBN: 978-0-7695-3304-9
  • Irem Stratmann: "OMNIDIRECTIONAL OPTICAL FLOW AND VISUAL MOTION DETECTION FOR AUTONOMOUS ROBOT NAVIGATION", PhD Dissertation, 16 October 2007 (2007-10-16), pages 1-138, XP055323797, Osnabrück Retrieved from the Internet: URL:https://repositorium.uos.de/bitstream/ urn:nbn:de:gbv:700-2007120719/2/E-Diss727_ thesis.pdf [retrieved on 2016-11-28]
  • NISHIGUCHI S ET AL: "A sensor-fusion method for detecting a speaking student", PROCEEDINGS OF THE 2003 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MULTIMEDIA AND EXPO: 6 - 9 JULY 2003, BALTIMORE MARRIOTT WATERFRONT HOTEL, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, USA, IEEE OPERATIONS CENTER, US, vol. 1, 6 July 2003 (2003-07-06), page 129, XP032963139, DOI: 10.1109/ICME.2003.1220871 ISBN: 978-0-7803-7965-7
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

Technical Field



[0001] The present disclosure relates to an image processing device, an image processing method, and a program.

Background Art



[0002] By using a lens and camera with a special structure, an image including a 360° view around the camera may be obtained. Technologies for processing and utilizing such images are being variously proposed. For example, Patent Literature 1 describes a technology that computes the three-dimensional coordinates of an object by using the data of feature points extracted from a moving image taken using a full-perimeter camera. Also, Patent Literature 2 describes a technology that converts an image taken using a fisheye lens into a remapped image that has been remapped onto a cylindrical surface, and detects information such as the distance to an object on the basis of the remapped image.

Citation List


Literature



[0003] 

Patent Literature 1: Japanese Patent No. 4545093

Patent Literature 2: JP 2012-226645A



[0004] US 2012/045149 A1 provides an omnidirectional image processing apparatus that enables the visibility of a specified monitoring object in an omnidirectional image to be improved while maintaining the continuity of that omnidirectional image. An omnidirectional image processing apparatus is an apparatus that performs image processing on an omnidirectional image, and has a monitoring object specification section that specifies a monitoring object photographed in the omnidirectional image, an image rotating section that rotates the omnidirectional image so that the position of a specified monitoring object becomes upper-central, and a center position moving section that moves the center position of the omnidirectional image rotated by the image rotating section (406) downward by means of warping processing.

[0005] Stratmann, Irem, Omnidirectional Imaging and Optical Flow, Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Omnidirectional Vision, Proceedings, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2 June 2002, pages 104-111, ISBN 978-0-7695-1629-5, XP010611082 describes catadioptric imaging sensors providing 360° horizontal view which may be advantageous for visual surveillance and motion detection in some robotic applications. Larger object surfaces can be perceived in a wide angle of view supplied by such an omnidirectional camera. The duration of object appearance in the field of view is also longer. These properties cause smooth variations of the image scenes and facilitate the calculation of the flow. Using such a flow field allows to detect ego-motion and some other fundamental preliminaries of robot navigation.

[0006] Stratmann, Irem, Omnidirectional Optical Flow and Visual Motion Detection for Autonomous Robot Navigation, PhD Dissertation, Universitaet, Osnabrueck, Osnabrueck, Germany, 16 October 2007, pages 1-138, XP055323797, https://repositorium.uos.de/bitstream/urn:nbn:de:gbv:700-2007120719/2/E-Diss727_thesis.pdf describes dynamical image processing on omnidirectional image sequences revealing information about navigational prerequisites of an autonomous mobile robot. The combination of dynamical and omnidirectional imaging allows for a novel interpretation of visual measurements.

[0007] Sun, Jie and Zhu, Jinhui, Calibration and Correction for Omnidirectional Image with a Fisheye Lens, Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Natural Computation, ICNC '08, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 18 October 2008, pages 133-137, ISBN 978-0-7695-3304-9, XP031358912 describes that omnidirectional vision (omni-vision) with a fisheye holds promise of various applications such as global surveillance, robotic navigations and so on. The calibration for the vision system and correction for the distorted image are critical procedure. One method for calibrating the omni-vision is proposed. The approach involves the utilities of a cylinder on which inner wall there a several straight lines lying. The calibration program determines the center, radius and gradient of a fisheye lens image. The optimized result is based on the method comparison. The calibration parameters are employed for the correction of image distortions. Several imaging rules are conceived for the designs of fisheye lenses. The regulations are discussed respectively and the distortion correction models are generated. An integral distortion correction approach based on these models is developed. The experiments demonstrate the corrections algorithms for a fisheye lens image is satisfactory and practicable in real-time process.

[0008] JP H11 331827 A and to realize a video conference with presence and high quality where a noise and an echo are reduced and to provide the television camera with a small size and a light weight without a moving part by tracking stably people so as to generate a video image of the video conference with an activity even when no voice is produced in the video conference with respect to the television camera using a fisheye lens, an ultra-wide angle lens and a variable directivity microphone, and provides, in the television camera, a fisheye lens or an ultra-wide angle lens section and a CCD image pickup section in the middle, and plural omnidirectional microphones are placed at a surrounding, the omnidirectional microphones are phase-controlled to act like variable directivity microphones, and the camera has a configuration such that a direction of a sound source position (talker direction) is discriminated, the sound source position direction is tracked, an image in the direction of a sound source position (portrait of talker) is segmented and a video signal is generated.

[0009] Nishiguchi, S. et al, A Sensor-fusion Method for Detecting a Speaking Student, Proceedings of the 2003 International Conference on Multimedia and Expo:, IEEE, NJ, USA, 6 July 2003, vol. 1, page 129, ISBN 978-0-7803-7965-7, XP032963139, doi:10.1109/ICME.2003.1220871 describes a method for detecting the location of the speaker that is a target of automatic video filming in distance learning and lecture archive. It is required that a face of a speaking student is filmed in a lecture video. For this purpose, it is necessary to detect the location of a speaker. An acoustic sensor such as a microphone array is used widely to detect the location of a sound source. However, it is difficult to detect the location of a sound source precisely using only microphone array because of sound noise in a large space such as a lecture room. A method for detecting more precise location of a speaker in the lecture room using not only the microphone array but also visual sensors is proposed. The result shows that the precision ration of detecting the location of a speaker was improved about 20 % by the sensor-fusion method.

[0010] JP 2011 040898 A aims to facilitate a person admiring a panoramic image to understand a direction in which an object reflected in the panoramic image is located when the object is photographed, and provides an imaging reproducing device including: an optical lens unit and a CCD for photographing a panoramic image in the direction of 360 degrees along a predetermined photographing face; an azimuth sensor for detecting an azimuth of a panoramic image to be photographed; a memory card for associating image data of a panoramic image obtained by photographing with information indicating the azimuth detected by the azimuth sensor to record them; and a control unit for making a compression / decompression processing part create a panoramic image which is developed from the image data recorded in the memory card with the direction of 180 degrees from a direction to be reference along the photographing face as a break on the basis of the information indicating the associated and recorded direction to display the created panoramic image in a display unit.

[0011] JP 2006 285546 A aims to provide an information providing system, and a portable communication terminal capable of quickly acquiring information relevant to an object in a landscape which a user wants, and provides that, in the information providing system, the information relevant to the object in the landscape which the user wants to know about is acquired by using the portable communication terminal having a present position detecting function. It has a landscape image generating circuit generating an azimuth landscape image on the basis of positional information sent from the portable communication terminal, and the map database server retrieving attribute information associated with the azimuth image and sending the azimuth landscape image at the present position to the user via a network. The portable communication terminal is provided with a display means for selecting and displaying desired information from plural pieces of attribute information relevant to particular objects associated with landscape image candidates by selecting the landscape image candidates similar to the landscape including the particular objects on the basis of the azimuth landscape image sent from the database server.

Summary of Invention


Technical Problem



[0012] Distortion occurs in images taken using a full-perimeter camera as above or a fisheye lens, for example. Consequently, technologies for utilizing such images mainly remap the images to remove the effects of distortion, or compute object coordinates or distances on the assumption of distortion. In other words, technology for using images including a 360° view around the camera as-is has not been adequately proposed heretofore.

[0013] Accordingly, the present disclosure proposes a new and improved image processing device, image processing method, and program making it possible to obtain a more useful image when an image including a 360° view around the camera is used without being remapped.

Solution to Problem



[0014] The above-mentioned issues are solved by the subject matter of the independent claims.

[0015] According to an embodiment of the present disclosure, there is provided an image processing device according to claim 1.

[0016] According to another embodiment of the present disclosure, there is provided an image processing method according to claim 10.

[0017] According to yet another embodiment of the present disclosure, there is provided a computer program product according to claim 11.

[0018] In a 360° image including a 360° view around the camera, it is difficult to uniquely define directions such as up and down like in an ordinary taken image. Accordingly, by rotating the 360° image so that a reference point configured according to some kind of reference is positioned in a designated orientation, a useful image may be obtained, in which an appropriate direction depending on the content of the image is easily perceived.

Advantageous Effects of Invention



[0019] According to the present disclosure as described above, a more useful image may be obtained when an image including a 360° view around the camera is used without being remapped.

Brief Description of Drawings



[0020] 

[FIG. 1] FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an image processing device according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 2] FIG. 2 is a diagram for explaining an example of a taken image taken by pointing the camera in a vertical direction according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 3] FIG. 3 is a diagram for explaining a first example of a taken image taken by pointing the camera in a horizontal direction according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 4] FIG. 4 is a diagram for explaining a second example of a taken image taken by pointing the camera in a horizontal direction according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 5] FIG. 5 is a flowchart that conceptually illustrates estimation of the movement direction according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 6] FIG. 6 is a diagram for explaining a first example of rotation of a taken image according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 7] FIG. 7 is a diagram for explaining a second example of rotation of a taken image according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 8] FIG. 8 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of a first image processing device according to a second embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 9] FIG. 9 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of a second image processing device according to a second embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 10] FIG. 10 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an imaging device according to a third embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 11] FIG. 11 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an imaging device according to a fourth embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 12] FIG. 12 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an image processing device according to a fourth embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 13] FIG. 13 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an image processing device according to a fifth embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 14] FIG. 14 is a diagram for explaining a first example of rotational angle computation for a taken image according to a fifth embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 15] FIG. 15 is a diagram for explaining a second example of rotational angle computation for a taken image according to a fifth embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 16] FIG. 16 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of a first image processing device according to a sixth embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 17] FIG. 17 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of a second image processing device according to a sixth embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 18] FIG. 18 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an imaging device according to a seventh embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 19] FIG. 19 is a diagram for explaining a first example of rotational angle computation for a taken image according to a seventh embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 20] FIG. 20 is a diagram for explaining a second example of rotational angle computation for a taken image according to a seventh embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 21] FIG. 21 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an image processing device according to an eighth embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 22] FIG. 22 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an image processing device according to an eighth embodiment of the present disclosure.

[FIG. 23] FIG. 23 is a block diagram for describing a hardware configuration of an information processing device.


Description of Embodiments



[0021] Hereinafter, preferred embodiments of the present disclosure will be described in detail with reference to the appended drawings. Note that, in the present description and the drawings, elements that have substantially the same function and structure are denoted with the same reference signs, and repeated explanation is omitted.

[0022] Hereinafter, the description will proceed in the following order.
  1. 1. First embodiment

    1-1. Functional configuration

    1-2. Specific example of point of origin and point of detection

    1-3. Movement direction estimation

    1-4. Example of rotation of taken image

  2. 2. Second embodiment
  3. 3. Third embodiment
  4. 4. Fourth embodiment
  5. 5. Fifth embodiment

    5-1. Functional configuration

    5-2. Example of rotational angle computation

  6. 6. Sixth embodiment
  7. 7. Seventh embodiment

    7-1. Functional configuration

    7-2. Example of rotational angle computation

  8. 8. Eighth embodiment
  9. 9. Hardware configuration
  10. 10. Supplemental remarks

(1. First embodiment)


(1-1. Functional configuration)



[0023] FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an image processing device according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure. Referring to FIG. 1, the image processing device 100 includes a communication unit 102, a storage unit 104, an image acquisition unit 106, a vector computation unit 108, a point detection unit 110, a rotational angle computation unit 112, and an image editing unit 114. Additionally, the image processing device 100 may also include a display control unit 116 and a display unit 118.

[0024] In the present embodiment, the image processing device 100 is a device that acquires taken images from another device via a network, and edits the acquired images. The image processing device 100 may also transmit edited images to another device via a network, store the edited images in a storage unit, or display the edited images by itself.

[0025] The image processing device 100 may be, for example, a terminal device such as various kinds of personal computers (PCs), a tablet, a mobile phone (including a smartphone), a game console, or a media player, and may also be a server that provides a service to a terminal device via a network. The image processing device 100 is realized by the hardware configuration of an information processing device discussed later, for example. When the image processing device 100 is a server, the functions of the image processing device 100 may also be realized by the cooperative action of multiple information processing devices connected over a network. Hereinafter, each of the structural elements will be described further.

[0026] The communication unit 102 is realized by a communication device, for example, and communicates with other devices via various wired or wireless networks. For example, the communication unit 102 receives data of taken images from another device, and stores the received data in the storage unit 104. As another example, the communication unit 102 transmits the data of images edited on the image processing device 100 and stored in the storage unit 104 to another device. Furthermore, although not illustrated, when the image processing device 100 is a server, the communication unit 102 receives a command such as a process request transmitted from a terminal device that receives a service, and provides the command to the components of the image processing device 100.

[0027] The storage unit 104 is realized by the combination of a storage device and various types of memory, for example, and temporarily or permanently stores various data used by the image processing device 100. For example, the storage unit 104 at least temporarily stores the data of taken images received from another device, and provides the stored data to the image acquisition unit 106 as necessary. As another example, the storage unit 104 at least temporarily stores the data of images edited by the image editing unit 114, and provides the stored data to the communication unit 102 for transmission to another device as necessary. Alternatively, the storage unit 104 may also provide the data of edited images to the display control unit 116 for display.

[0028] The image acquisition unit 106 is realized by a central processing unit (CPU) operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and acquires the data of taken images stored in the storage unit 104. Herein, the taken images whose data is acquired by the image acquisition unit 106 are images taken in chronological succession via a fisheye lens. Herein, since the taken images taken via a fisheye lens include a 360° view around the camera that includes the fisheye lens, such images may also be designated 360° images. These images may constitute a series of frames as a moving image, or be two or more still images taken independently, for example.

[0029] The vector computation unit 108 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and computes motion vectors from taken images acquired by the image acquisition unit 106. For example, the vector computation unit 108 computes motion vectors by dividing the taken images into blocks of designated size, and executing block matching with the taken images positioned chronologically before and after. Note that a variety of other established techniques besides the above may also be used to compute motion vectors.

[0030] At this point, the vector computation unit 108 may also compute motion vectors in two stages depending on a process result from the point detection unit 110 discussed later. In this case, for example, the vector computation unit 108 first computes motion vectors at a first block size for the taken images in entirety. The computed motion vectors are then provided to the point detection unit 110 for the moment, and in the point detection unit 110, a search region is configured on the basis of the motion vectors. Next, the vector computation unit 108 computes motion vectors at a second block size smaller than the first block size for the search region in the taken images (nearby portions may also be included), and provides the computed motion vectors to the point detection unit 110. In the search region, the point detection unit 110 searches for a point of origin or a point of convergence using the motion vectors computed at the smaller second block size. In this way, by reducing the number of times that block matching is executed in the vector computation unit 108, the processing load on the image processing device 100 as a whole may be reduced.

[0031] Note that in another embodiment, the vector computation unit 108 may also not be included in the image processing device 100. In other words, the image processing device 100 does not necessarily need to compute motion vectors itself. For example, motion vectors may be received by the communication unit 102 as data computed by another device, and stored in the storage unit 104. In this case, the vector computation unit 108 may be replaced by a vector acquisition unit that reads out from the storage unit 104 the data of motion vectors corresponding to the taken images.

[0032] The point detection unit 110 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and detects a point of origin or a point of convergence of the motion vectors computed by the vector computation unit 108. As discussed later, with taken images taken in chronological succession via a fisheye lens, a point or origin or a point of convergence of the motion vectors appears depending on the camera movement direction. More specifically, the point detection unit 110 may detect both a point of origin and a point of convergence in a peripheral portion of the taken images, or detect one of either a point of origin or a point of convergence in a central portion of the taken images.

[0033] Herein, the point detection unit 110 may also detect a point of origin or a point of convergence in two stages, in correspondence with the two-stage computation of motion vectors by the vector computation unit 108 discussed above. In this case, for example, the point detection unit 110 first configures a search region in the taken images on the basis of the motion vectors computed at the first block size for the taken images in entirety. For the search region, a region in which the motion vector magnitudes are relatively small, or a region in which the directions of relatively many motion vectors intersect may be configured, for example. This reflects a property of taken images taken in chronological succession via a fisheye lens, according to which the motion vector magnitudes become smaller in the vicinity of a point of origin or a point of convergence, and the directions of many motion vectors concentrate at a point of origin or a point of convergence. The point detection unit 110 provides information about the search region to the vector computation unit 108, and the vector computation unit 108 computes motion vectors at the smaller second block size for the search region (nearby portions may also be included). Furthermore, the point detection unit 110 searches for a point of origin or a point of convergence inside the search region, on the basis of the motion vectors computed at the second block size.

[0034] Alternatively, even if the vector computation unit 108 does not compute the motion vectors in two stages, the point detection unit 110 may also configure a search region similarly to the above example, and search for a point of origin or a point of convergence inside the search region. In this case, the point detection unit 110 may configure a search region by extracting the motion vectors computed by the vector computation unit 108 at a first granularity, and searching for a point of origin or a point of convergence inside the search region by extracting the motion vectors at a second granularity finer than the first granularity. Likewise in this case, for the search region, a region in which the motion vector magnitudes are relatively small, or a region in which the directions of relatively many motion vectors intersect may be configured, for example.

[0035] Note that a more specific example of a point of origin and a point of convergence of motion vectors detected by the point detection unit 110 will be discussed later.

[0036] The rotational angle computation unit 112 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example. When the point detection unit 110 detects a point of origin in a peripheral portion of the taken images, the rotational angle computation unit 112 computes the rotational angle of the taken images at which the point of origin is positioned in a designated orientation with respect to the center of the taken images. More specifically, the rotational angle computation unit 112 may compute a rotational angle so that the point of origin is positioned below the center of the taken images. As discussed later, when the taken images are images taken by pointing the fisheye lens in a vertical direction, for example, such a rotational angle may be the angle by which to rotate the taken images so that the taken images flowing by in conjunction with the movement of the camera are observed more naturally. Herein, the rotational angle computation unit 112 may also be said to use the point of origin as a reference point, and compute the rotational angle so that the reference point is positioned in a designated orientation with respect to the center of the taken images. As discussed later, in the present embodiment, the point of origin obtained as a result of analysis of the taken images is estimated to be the point of regard in the taken images, and the rotational angle computation unit 112 computes a rotational angle using the estimated point of regard as a reference point.

[0037] The image editing unit 114 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and rotates the taken images according to the rotational angle computed by the rotational angle computation unit 112. As discussed above, when a point of origin is detected in a peripheral portion of the taken images, the rotational angle computation unit 112 may compute a rotational angle so that the point of origin is positioned in a designated orientation with respect to the center of the taken images. Consequently, when a point of origin is detected in a peripheral portion of the taken images, the image editing unit 114 may also be said to rotate the taken images so that the point of origin is positioned in a designated orientation with respect to the center of the taken images. More specifically, the image editing unit 114 may rotate the taken images so that the point of origin is positioned below the center of the taken images. As demonstrated by the more specific example of a point of origin and a point of convergence of motion vectors discussed later, such a rotation process may also be said to be a process based on an estimation that the taken images are images taken while moving from a point of convergence towards a point of origin.

[0038] The display control unit 116 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and controls the display unit 118, which is realized by an output device such as various types of display, for example, to display images based on data read out from the storage unit 104. Herein, the storage unit 104 may store images edited by the image editing unit 114, or more specifically, taken images rotated by the image editing unit 114 according to a rotational angle computed by the rotational angle computation unit 112. Consequently, the display control unit 116 may also be said to cause the display unit 118 to display images generated as a result of the process from the image acquisition unit 106 to the image editing unit 114.

(1-2. Specific example of point of origin and point of detection)



[0039] A more specific example of a point of origin and a point of convergence of motion vectors detected by the point detection unit 110 of the image processing device 100 discussed above will be described further, with reference to FIGS. 2 to 4.

[0040] FIG. 2 is a diagram for explaining an example of a taken image taken by pointing the camera in a vertical direction according to the first embodiment of the present disclosure. FIG. 2 illustrates an example of a taken image 15 taken by pointing a camera 10 in a vertical direction. The camera 10 includes a fisheye lens 11, and the optical axis direction of the fisheye lens 11 is an approximately vertical direction. Additionally, the camera 10 is moving in an approximately horizontal direction, or in other words a direction perpendicular to the optical axis direction of the fisheye lens 11.

[0041] In this case, in the taken image 15 both a point of origin R and a point of convergence C of the motion vectors V appear in the peripheral portion. When the optical axis direction of the fisheye lens 11 is an approximately vertical direction, the central portion of the taken image 15 corresponds to the area above the camera 10, while the peripheral portion of the taken image 15 corresponds to the area around the camera 10. Herein, the taken image 15 is a 360° image including a 360° view around the camera 10. If the camera 10 moves in an approximately horizontal direction while in this state, in taken images 15 taken in chronological succession, a certain point in the peripheral portion, or in other words the image originating from the point corresponding to the direction the camera 10 is heading towards, will be divided mainly onto either side, flow along the peripheral portion, and converge at the point in the peripheral portion on the opposite side with respect to the center of the taken image 15, or in other words the point corresponding to the direction the camera 10 is heading away from. In this way, a point of origin R and a point of convergence C of the motion vectors V appear. In this case, the observer's point of regard on the taken image 15 may be estimated to be the destination the camera 10 is heading towards, or in other words, the point of origin R.

[0042] As discussed above, the point detection unit 110 of the image processing device 100 may detect such a point of origin R and a point of convergence C. Herein, the point detection unit 110 may also utilize the regularity of the position relationship between the point of origin R and the point of convergence C to increase the efficiency of the detection process. For example, if the point of origin R is discovered in a first part of the peripheral portion of the taken image 15, the point of convergence C likely exists in a second part positioned on the opposite side of the first part with respect to the center of the taken image 15. Accordingly, the point detection unit 110 may conduct a search for the point of convergence C which prioritizes the second part, or which is limited to the second part. Conversely, if the point of convergence C is discovered in a first part of the peripheral portion of the taken image 15, the point of origin R likely exists in a second part positioned on the opposite side of the first part with respect to the center of the taken image 15. Accordingly, the point detection unit 110 may conduct a search for the point of origin R which prioritizes the second part, or which is limited to the second part.

[0043] More specifically, for example, the point detection unit 110 may search for the point of origin R or the point of convergence C by analyzing the motion vectors in order from the edge of the taken image 15, and when the point of origin R or the point of convergence C is discovered in the peripheral portion of the taken image 15, the point detection unit 110 may treat that part as the first part, and cause the area of search to jump to the second part corresponding to the first part (the part on the opposite side with respect to the center of the taken image 15). In this way, by reducing the number of times that motion vector analysis is executed by the point detection unit 110, the processing load on the image processing device 100 as a whole may be reduced.

[0044] Note that when the optical axis direction of the fisheye lens 11 is tilted with respect to the vertical direction by a certain degree or more, only one of either the point of origin R or the point of convergence C may appear in the peripheral portion of the taken image 15, while the other point may lie outside the range of the taken image 15. In this case, even if the point of origin R or the point of convergence C is discovered in the first part as above, the paired point of convergence C or point of origin R will not be discovered in the second part. However, in this case, since the point of convergence C or the point of origin R may also be considered to not exist in a part other than the second part, the point detection unit 110 may end the search if the point of convergence C or the point of origin R is not discovered in the second part.

[0045] FIG. 3 is a diagram for explaining a first example of a taken image taken by pointing the camera in a horizontal direction according to the first embodiment of the present disclosure. FIG. 3 illustrates an example of a taken image 15 taken by pointing the camera 10 in a horizontal direction. The camera 10 includes a fisheye lens 11, and the optical axis direction of the fisheye lens 11 is an approximately horizontal direction. In addition, the camera 10 is moving in an approximately horizontal direction, with the fisheye lens 11 leading in front.

[0046] In this case, in the taken image 15, only a point of origin R of the motion vectors V appears in the central portion. When the camera 10 is moving with the fisheye lens 11 leading in front, the central portion of the taken image 15 corresponds to the area in front of the camera 10, while the peripheral portion of the taken image 15 corresponds to the area above and below as well as to the left and the right of the camera 10. If the camera 10 moves forward while in this state, in taken images 15 taken in chronological succession, a certain point in the central portion, or in other words the image originating from the point corresponding to the direction the camera 10 is heading towards, flows towards the peripheral portion, and continues on to spread out at the edges of the taken image 15. In this way, only a point of origin R of the motion vectors V appears. In this case, the observer's point of regard on the taken image 15 may be estimated to be the destination the camera 10 is heading towards, or in other words, the point of origin R.

[0047] FIG. 4 is a diagram for explaining a second example of a taken image taken by pointing the camera in a horizontal direction according to the first embodiment of the present disclosure. FIG. 4 also illustrates an example of a taken image 15 taken by pointing the camera 10 in a horizontal direction. The camera 10 includes a fisheye lens 11, and the optical axis direction of the fisheye lens 11 is an approximately horizontal direction. In addition, the camera 10 is moving in an approximately horizontal direction, with the fisheye lens 11 trailing behind.

[0048] In this case, in the taken image 15, only a point of convergence C of the motion vectors V appears in the central portion. When the camera 10 is moving with the fisheye lens 11 trailing behind, the central portion of the taken image 15 corresponds to the area behind the camera 10, while the peripheral portion of the taken image 15 corresponds to the area above and below as well as to the left and the right of the camera 10. If the camera 10 moves forward while in this state, in taken images 15 taken in chronological succession, images appearing from the edges of the taken images 15 flow from the peripheral portion towards the central portion, and converge on a point in the central portion, or in other words the point corresponding to the direction the camera 10 is heading away from. In this way, only a point of convergence C of the motion vectors V appears. In this case, the observer's point of regard on the taken image 15 may be estimated to be the origin the camera 10 is heading away from, or in other words, the point of convergence C.

(1-3. Movement direction estimation)



[0049] FIG. 5 is a flowchart that conceptually illustrates estimation of the movement direction according to the first embodiment of the present disclosure. In the present embodiment, when the point of origin of the motion vectors is detected in the peripheral portion of the taken images, the image editing unit 114 of the image processing device 100 may rotate the taken images so that the point of origin is positioned in a designated orientation with respect to the center of the taken images. Such a process may also be said to be a process based on an estimation that the taken images are images taken while moving from the point of convergence towards the point of origin, as described above. In this case, in several embodiments of the present disclosure, a process based on an estimation of the movement direction of the taken images may be executed. FIG. 5 conceptually illustrates an example of such an estimation.

[0050] Note that the estimation of the movement direction of the taken images described below is not necessarily limited to being executed explicitly on the image processing device 100. In other words, the estimation of the movement direction of the taken images is not necessarily included among the functions realized by the image processing device 100, or among the steps executed by the image processing device 100. However, a process executed on the basis of a detection result of a point of origin or a point of convergence by the point detection unit 110, like the process of the above image editing unit 114, for example, may be a process configured in light of the movement direction of the taken images estimated from the detection result.

[0051] Referring to FIG. 5, first, the image acquisition unit 106 acquires taken images (step S101). As above, the taken images acquired at this point have been taken in chronological succession via a fisheye lens. Next, the vector computation unit 108 computes motion vectors from the taken images (step S103). Note that although simple processes of the vector computation unit 108 and the point detection unit 110 are illustrated in the drawing, it is also possible to implement options as presented in the above description.

[0052] At this point, if, as a result of the point detection unit 110 detecting a point of origin or a point of convergence of the motion vectors, both a point of origin and a point of convergence of the motion vectors exist (step S105, Yes), the taken images are estimated to be images taken while moving from the point of convergence towards the point of origin, like the example illustrated in FIG. 2 (step S107). Note that, as discussed earlier, in consideration of the case in which only one of either the point of origin or the point of convergence appears in the peripheral portion of the taken images because the optical axis direction of the fisheye lens is tilted with respect to the vertical direction or the like, and the other point lies outside the range of the taken images, the condition in step S105 may also be rephrased as "Does a point of convergence or a point of origin exist in the peripheral portion of the taken images?" In this case, the point of convergence and the point of origin referred to in step S107 may include a point that lies outside the range of the taken images.

[0053] On the other hand, in the case of No in step S105, if a point of origin exists in the taken images (step S109, Yes), the taken images are estimated to be images taken while moving towards the point of origin, or in other words, approaching the point of origin, like the example illustrated in FIG. 3 (step S111). Also, in the case of No in step S109, if a point of convergence exists in the taken images (step S113, Yes), the taken images are estimated to be images taken while moving away from the point of convergence, or in other words, like the example illustrated in FIG. 4 (step S115). Note that, although not illustrated in the drawings, in the case of No in step S115 also, or in other words, if the point detection unit 110 does not detect either a point of origin or a point of convergence, the taken images may be estimated to be images taken without moving.

[0054] Applying the estimation of movement direction as described above to the first embodiment described earlier yields the following.

[0055] First, like the example illustrated in FIG. 2, if the taken images are estimated to be images taken while moving from the point of convergence towards the point of origin (step S107), the image editing unit 114 may rotate the taken images so that the point of origin is positioned in a designated orientation with respect to the center of the taken images. As discussed later, this is because taken images taken while moving with the fisheye lens pointed in a vertical direction are more easily observed when the direction of forward motion is positioned in a designated orientation with respect to the center of the images.

[0056] On the other hand, like the examples illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, if the taken images are estimated to be images taken while moving towards the point of origin, or away from the point of convergence (step S111 or S115), the image editing unit 114 does not rotate the taken images. This is because in images like these examples, the top, bottom, left, and right are already fixed, and rotation is not necessary.

(1-4. Example of rotation of taken image)



[0057] A more specific example of the rotation of taken images by the image editing unit 114 of the image processing device 100 discussed above will be described further with reference to FIGS. 6 and 7. Note that the taken images given in the example below are all treated as images taken while moving from the point of convergence towards the point of origin, like the example illustrated in FIG. 2.

[0058] FIG. 6 is a diagram for explaining a first example of rotation of a taken image according to the first embodiment of the present disclosure. FIG. 6 illustrates a taken image 15 in which a point of origin R and a point of convergence C exist for motion vectors V. If the taken image 15 is observed as-is, the image divides mainly on either side of the taken image 15 and flows from the point of origin R in the upper-left to the point of convergence C in the lower-right. Observation of an image in such a state is empirically known to make observers experience discomfort in many cases.

[0059] Accordingly, in the illustrated example, the rotational angle computation unit 112 computes a rotational angle so that the point of origin R is positioned below the center of the taken image 15, and the image editing unit 114 rotates the taken image 15 according to the computed rotational angle. The rotated taken image 15 is illustrated as the taken image 15r. In the taken image 15r, the image flows from the point of origin R at the bottom to the point of convergence C at the top, and thus observers are less likely to experience discomfort.

[0060] In order to address the discomfort of observers due to the orientation of taken images taken via a fisheye lens, it is also conceivable to lock the orientation when installing the camera onto a means of transportation such as a vehicle, or detect the camera orientation with a sensor or the like separate from the camera. However, by rotating the taken images after taking the images as above, more naturally observable taken images may be provided, irrespective of the camera orientation when taking images.

[0061] FIG. 7 is a diagram for explaining a second example of rotation of a taken image according to the first embodiment of the present disclosure. FIG. 7 likewise illustrates a taken image 15 in which a point of origin R and a point of convergence C exist for motion vectors V, similarly to FIG. 6. In the illustrated example, the rotational angle computation unit 112 computes a rotational angle so that the direction joining the point of origin R and the point of convergence C matches the left-and-right direction, and the image editing unit 114 rotates the taken image 15 according to the computed rotational angle. In the rotated taken image 15r, the image flows from the point of origin R on the right to the point of convergence C on the left. Such an orientation of the taken image 15r may be suitable when the observer's attention is on the flowing image itself rather than the destination the camera is heading towards, that is, the point of origin R.

(2. Second embodiment)



[0062] Next, a second embodiment of the present disclosure will be described with reference to FIGS. 8 and 9. In the present embodiment, functions similar to the image processing device 100 according to the first embodiment above are realized by being distributed between first and second image processing devices.

[0063] FIG. 8 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of a first image processing device according to the second embodiment of the present disclosure, and FIG. 9 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of a second image processing device according to the second embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0064] Referring to FIG. 8, the first image processing device 200 includes a communication unit 102, a storage unit 104, an image acquisition unit 106, a vector computation unit 108, a point detection unit 110, and a recording control unit 202. Additionally, the first image processing device 200 may also include a rotational angle computation unit 112.

[0065] In the present embodiment, the first image processing device 200 is a device that acquires taken images from another device via a network, and records the acquired images together with metadata. The first image processing device 200 receives images with associated metadata from the second image processing device 250 via the network.

[0066] Referring to FIG. 9, the second image processing device 250 includes a communication unit 252, a storage unit 254, an image acquisition unit 256, a rotational angle computation unit 258, and an image editing unit 114. Additionally, the second image processing device 250 may also include a display control unit 116 and a display unit 118.

[0067] In the present embodiment, the second image processing device 250 is a device that acquires images with associated metadata from the first image processing device 200 via the network, and edits the acquired images according to the metadata. The second image processing device 250 may also transmit edited images to another device via a network, store the edited images in a storage unit, or display the edited images by itself.

[0068] The first image processing device 200 and the second image processing device 250 may be, for example, a terminal device such as various kinds of PCs, a tablet, a mobile phone (including a smartphone), a game console, or a media player, and may also be a server that provides a service to a terminal device via a network. The first image processing device 200 and the second image processing device 250 are realized by the hardware configuration of an information processing device discussed later, for example. When the first image processing device 200 or the second image processing device 250 is a server, the functions of the device may also be realized by the cooperative action of multiple information processing devices connected over a network. Hereinafter, each of the structural elements will be described further. Note that functional configurations similar to those described in the first embodiment above will be denoted with common signs, and thus duplicate description thereof will be reduced or omitted.

[0069] The recording control unit 202 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and records, in association with taken images, metadata based on a detection result of a point of origin or a point of convergence by the point detection unit 110. For example, the recording control unit 202 may record a position within the taken images of a detected point of origin or point of convergence. Also, when the first image processing device 200 includes the rotational angle computation unit 112, the recording control unit 202 may also record a rotational angle of taken images computed by the rotational angle computation unit 112.

[0070] The communication unit 252 is realized by a communication device, for example, and communicates with other devices, including the first image processing device 200, via various wired or wireless networks. For example, the communication unit 252 receives and stores in the storage unit 254 the data of taken images from the first image processing device 200, together with metadata. As another example, the communication unit 252 transmits the data of images edited on the second image processing device 250 and stored in the storage unit 254 to another device. Furthermore, although not illustrated, when the second image processing device 250 is a server, the communication unit 252 receives a command such as a process request transmitted from a terminal device that receives a service, and provides the command to the components of the second image processing device 250.

[0071] The storage unit 254 is realized by the combination of a storage device and various types of memory, for example, and temporarily or permanently stores various data used by the second image processing device 250. For example, the storage unit 254 at least temporarily stores the data and metadata of taken images received from the first image processing device, and provides the stored data and metadata to the image acquisition unit 256 or the rotational angle computation unit 258 as necessary. As another example, the storage unit 254 at least temporarily stores the data of images edited by the image editing unit 114, and provides the stored data to the communication unit 252 for transmission to another device as necessary. Alternatively, the storage unit 254 may also provide the data of edited images to the display control unit 116 for display.

[0072] The image acquisition unit 256 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and acquires the data of taken images stored in the storage unit 254. Herein, the taken images whose data is acquired by the image acquisition unit 256 are images taken in chronological succession via a fisheye lens. These images may constitute a series of frames as a moving image, or be two or more still images taken independently, for example.

[0073] The rotational angle computation unit 258 may be provided when the first image processing device 200 does not include the rotational angle computation unit 112. The rotational angle computation unit 258 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example. When a point of origin is detected in a peripheral portion of the taken images, the rotational angle computation unit 258 computes a rotational angle of the taken images so that the point of origin is positioned in a designated orientation with respect to the center of the taken images. In the present embodiment, since the point detection unit 110 is included in the first image processing device 200, the rotational angle computation unit 258 reads out from the storage unit 254 the metadata provided together with the taken images by the first image processing device 200, and on the basis of the metadata, specifies the position within the taken images of the point of origin.

(3. Third embodiment)



[0074] Next, a third embodiment of the present disclosure will be described with reference to FIG. 10. In the present embodiment, functions similar to the image processing device 100 above are realized in an imaging device that executes imaging. In other words, in the present embodiment, an imaging device also functions as an image processing device.

[0075] FIG. 10 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an imaging device according to the third embodiment of the present disclosure. Referring to FIG. 10, the imaging device 300 includes an imaging unit 302, an image acquisition unit 304, a storage unit 104, a vector computation unit 108, a point detection unit 110, a rotational angle computation unit 112, and an image editing unit 114. The imaging device 300 additionally may include a communication unit 102. Also, the imaging device 300 additionally may include a display control unit 116 and a display unit 118.

[0076]  In the present embodiment, the imaging device 300 is a device that executes imaging itself to acquire taken images, and edits the acquired images. The imaging device 300 may also transmit edited images to another device via a network, store the edited images in a storage unit, or display the edited images by itself.

[0077] The imaging device 300 may be a terminal device whose primary function is an imaging function, like a digital camera, for example, but may also be a terminal device including an imaging function as an additional function, like a tablet, a mobile phone (including a smartphone), or a game console. The imaging device 300 is realized by the hardware configuration of an information processing device discussed later, for example. Hereinafter, each of the structural elements will be described further. Note that functional configurations similar to those described in the first embodiment above will be denoted with common signs, and thus duplicate description thereof will be reduced or omitted.

[0078] The imaging unit 302 is realized by an imaging device including an image sensor, such as a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) sensor, for example, and an image processing circuit that executes processes such as gradation and tone adjustment, a noise reduction process, and size conversion on the raw data generated by the image sensor, and then generates image data in various formats, such as Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), for example. The imaging unit 302 includes a fisheye lens as a lens for controlling the formation of an object image on the image sensor, and provides to the image acquisition unit 304 taken images taken in chronological succession via the fisheye lens. The fisheye lens may also be removably attached to the imaging unit 302, such as an interchangeable lens in the case of a digital camera, or a lens attachment or the like in the case of another terminal device, for example.

[0079] The image acquisition unit 304 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and acquires the data of taken images taken by the imaging unit 302. Herein, the taken images whose data is acquired by the image acquisition unit 304 are images taken in chronological succession via the fisheye lens of the imaging unit 302. These images may constitute a series of frames as a moving image, or be two or more still images taken independently, for example.

(4. Fourth embodiment)



[0080] Next, a fourth embodiment of the present disclosure will be described with reference to FIGS. 11 and 12. In the present embodiment, functions similar to the imaging device 300 according to the third embodiment above are realized by being distributed between an imaging device and an image processing device.

[0081] FIG. 11 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an imaging processing device according to the fourth embodiment of the present disclosure, and FIG. 12 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an image processing device according to the fourth embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0082] Referring to FIG. 11, the imaging device 400 includes an imaging unit 402, an image acquisition unit 304, a storage unit 104, a vector computation unit 108, a point detection unit 110, and a recording control unit 202. The imaging device 400 additionally may include a communication unit 102 or a rotational angle computation unit 112. Also, the imaging device 400 additionally may include a display control unit 116 and a display unit 118.

[0083] In the present embodiment, the imaging device 400 is a device that executes imaging itself to acquire taken images, and records the acquired images together with metadata. The imaging device 400 transfers images with associated metadata to the image processing device 450 via a removable recording medium included in the storage unit 104, or transmits images with associated metadata to the image processing device 450 from the communication unit 102 via a network.

[0084]  Referring to FIG. 12, the image processing device 450 includes a communication unit 252, a storage unit 254, an image acquisition unit 256, a rotational angle computation unit 258, and an image editing unit 114. Additionally, the image processing device 450 may also include a display control unit 116 and a display unit 118. Note that the functional configuration of the image processing device 450 is similar to the functional configuration of the second image processing device 250 according to the second embodiment above.

[0085] In the present embodiment, the image processing device 450 is a device that acquires images with associated metadata from the imaging device 400 via the network, and edits the acquired images according to the metadata. The image processing device 450 may also transmit edited images to another device via a network, store the edited images in a storage unit, or display the edited images by itself.

[0086] The imaging device 400 may be a terminal device whose primary function is an imaging function, like a digital camera, for example, but may also be a terminal device including an imaging function as an additional function, like a tablet, a mobile phone (including a smartphone), or a game console. In addition, the image processing device 450 may be a terminal device such as various kinds of PCs, a tablet, a mobile phone (including a smartphone), a game console, or a media player, and may also be a server that provides a service to a terminal device via a network. The imaging device 400 and the image processing device 450 are realized by the hardware configuration of an information processing device discussed later, for example. When the image processing device 450 is a server, the functions of the image processing device 450 may also be realized by the cooperative action of multiple information processing devices connected over a network. Hereinafter, each of the structural elements will be described further. Note that functional configurations similar to those described in the first to third embodiments above will be denoted with common signs, and thus duplicate description thereof will be reduced or omitted.

[0087] The imaging unit 402 has a functional configuration similar to the imaging unit 302 described in the third embodiment above, but the imaging unit 402 not only provides taken images to the image acquisition unit 304, but also stores taken images in the storage unit 104. Metadata is recorded in association with the taken images by the imaging device 400 and the recording control unit 202, but since the editing of the taken images is executed by the image processing device 450 rather than the imaging device 400, the taken images stored in the storage unit 104 may be provided from the imaging unit 402.

(5. Fifth embodiment)



[0088] Next, a fifth embodiment of the present disclosure will be described with reference to FIGS. 13 to 15. In the present embodiment, a point of regard in taken images is estimated on the basis of a taken image analysis result different from the detection of a point of origin or a point of convergence described in the embodiments above, and the taken images are rotated so that the point of regard is positioned in a designated orientation with respect to the center of the taken images.

(5-1. Functional configuration)



[0089] FIG. 13 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an image processing device according to the fifth embodiment of the present disclosure. Referring to FIG. 13, the image processing device 500 includes a communication unit 102, a storage unit 104, an image acquisition unit 106, an image analysis unit 502, a rotational angle computation unit 504, and an image editing unit 114. The image processing device 500 additionally may include a display control unit 116 and a display unit 118.

[0090] The image processing device 500 may be a terminal device such as various kinds of PCs, a tablet, a mobile phone (including a smartphone), a game console, or a media player, and may also be a server that provides a service to a terminal device via a network. The image processing device 500 is realized by the hardware configuration of an information processing device discussed later, for example. When the image processing device 500 is a server, the functions of the image processing device 500 may also be realized by the cooperative action of multiple information processing devices connected over a network. Hereinafter, each of the structural elements will be described further. Note that functional configurations similar to those described in the first embodiment above will be denoted with common signs, and thus duplicate description thereof will be reduced or omitted.

[0091] The image analysis unit 502 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and analyzes taken images acquired by the image acquisition unit 106. The image analysis unit 502 may analyze taken images using various established techniques. Consequently, in the present embodiment, the taken images are not necessarily 360° images taken via a fisheye lens. The taken images may also be 360° images taken using a full-perimeter camera, for example. The image analysis unit 502 executes, on such taken images, a process such as pattern analysis, for example, and detects a point at which a designated action occurred in the taken images. Alternatively, the image analysis unit 502 may also recognize an object included in the taken images. The result of such image analysis is used to compute a rotational angle of the taken images in the rotational angle computation unit 504 discussed later.

[0092] The rotational angle computation unit 504 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and computes a rotational angle of the taken images on the basis of a result of analysis of taken images in the image analysis unit 502. More specifically, the rotational angle computation unit 504 computes a rotational angle of the taken images so that a reference point in the taken images specified by the analysis of the taken images is positioned in a designated orientation with respect to the center of the taken images. For example, if a point at which a designated action occurred in the taken images is detected by the image analysis unit 502, the rotational angle computation unit 504 may compute a rotational angle using that point as the reference point. In this case, the rotational angle computation unit 504 may also be said to estimate that the point at which the designated action occurred is the point of regard in the taken images, and compute a rotational angle so that the point of regard comes to an easy-to-see position.

[0093] Alternatively, if an object included in the taken images is recognized by the image analysis unit 502, the rotational angle computation unit 504 may compute a rotational angle using an arbitrary point on the recognized object as the reference point. In this case, the taken images may be a series of frame images taken in chronological succession, and the rotational angle computation unit 504 may also compute a rotational angle so that the reference point is positioned in the same orientation with respect to the center of the taken images in each frame of the taken images. Note that a more specific example of such rotational angle computation will be discussed later.

(5-2. Example of rotational angle computation)



[0094] A more specific example of the computation of the rotational angle of taken images by the rotational angle computation unit 504 of the image processing device 500 discussed above will be described further with reference to FIGS. 14 and 15.

[0095] FIG. 14 is a diagram for explaining a first example of rotational angle computation for a taken image according to a fifth embodiment of the present disclosure. FIG. 14 illustrates a taken image 17 including multiple users P1 to P3. Note that in the illustrated example, the taken image 17 is a 360° image taken using a full-perimeter camera, and thus no image exists in the central part of the taken image 17.

[0096] Herein, the users P1 to P3 included in the taken image 17 are participating in a meeting, for example, and one of the users P1 to P3 speaks. The taken image 17 also includes, in addition to the users P1 to P3, lamps L1 to L3 for indicating the speaking user. The lamps L1 to L3 are disposed near the users P1 to P3, such as by being worn on the clothing or the like of each user, or by being placed on a desk in front of each user, for example, and light up when the corresponding user speaks.

[0097] In the illustrated example, the user P1 is speaking, and the lamp L1 corresponding to the user P1 is lit up. The image analysis unit 502 of the imaging device 500 detects this lighting-up as a designated action, and specifies a point depicting the lamp L1 in the taken image as the point at which the action occurred, or in other words, as the estimated point of regard. The rotational angle computation unit 504 may compute a rotational angle of the taken image 17 so that this point is positioned below the center of the taken image 17. The taken image 17 rotated by the image editing unit 114 according to the computed rotational angle is labeled the taken image 17r. In the taken image 17r, the speaking user P1 may be observed in the same orientation as the real up and down.

[0098] Note that the rotational angle computation unit 504 may also compute a rotational angle so that the estimated point of regard is positioned in any orientation with respect to the center of the taken image 17, but if a rotational angle is computed so that the point of regard is positioned below as described in the foregoing, for example, the up and down of the world depicted in the taken image 17 near the point of regard matches the up and down when the taken image 17 is observed, and thus more naturally observable taken images may be provided.

[0099] In the above example, the lamps L1 to L3, which are devices installed in correspondence with the users P1 to P3, execute a designated action to indicate that a user is speaking. In another example, the users P1 to P3 themselves may execute the designated action. For example, the image analysis unit 502 detects movement of a user's mouth as the designated action, and specifies a point depicting the mouth of the user whose movement was detected as the point at which the action occurred, or in other words, as the estimated point of regard.

[0100] FIG. 15 is a diagram for explaining a second example of rotational angle computation for a taken image according to a fifth embodiment of the present disclosure. FIG. 15 illustrates taken images 19 including users who are objects. Note that in the illustrated example, the taken images 19 are 360° images taken using a fisheye lens camera, and thus an image also exists in the central part of the taken images 19.

[0101] Herein, the taken images 19 are a series of frame images taken in chronological succession, and are also taken while rotating the camera including the fisheye lens. Consequently, the angle at which the user who is an object is depicted differs between frame N (where N = 1, 2, ...) of the taken images 19, and frame N+M (where M = 1, 2, ...) which follows after a designated number of frames. The rotational angle computation unit 504 configures a reference point Q on the tip of the user's left hand, and computes a rotational angle so that the reference point Q in each frame is positioned in the same orientation with respect to the center of the taken images 19.

[0102] As a result of rotating the taken images 19 according to the rotational angle, the taken image 19 of frame N+M is rotated so as to cancel the rotational vector VR between itself and frame N. Thus, in the rotated taken image 19r of frame N+M, the reference point Q is positioned in the upper-right with respect to the center of the image, the same as in the taken image 19 of frame N. Consequently, the observer is able to perceive the user who is an object stably as the frames advance, regardless of the rotation of the camera.

(6. Sixth embodiment)



[0103] Next, a sixth embodiment of the present disclosure will be described with reference to FIGS. 16 and 17. In the present embodiment, functions similar to the image processing device 500 according to the fifth embodiment above are realized by being distributed between first and second image processing devices.

[0104] FIG. 16 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of a first image processing device according to the sixth embodiment of the present disclosure, and FIG. 17 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of a second image processing device according to the sixth embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0105] Referring to FIG. 16, the first image processing device 600 includes a communication unit 102, a storage unit 104, an image acquisition unit 106, an image analysis unit 502, and a recording control unit 602. Additionally, the first image processing device 600 may also include a rotational angle computation unit 504.

[0106] Referring to FIG. 17, the second image processing device 650 includes a communication unit 252, a storage unit 254, an image acquisition unit 256, a rotational angle computation unit 652, and an image editing unit 114. Additionally, the second image processing device 650 may also include a display control unit 116 and a display unit 118.

[0107] The first image processing device 600 and the second image processing device 650 each may be a terminal device such as various kinds of PCs, a tablet, a mobile phone (including a smartphone), a game console, or a media player, and may also be a server that provides a service to a terminal device via a network. The first image processing device 600 and the second image processing device 650 are realized by the hardware configuration of an information processing device discussed later, for example. When the first image processing device 600 or the second image processing device 650 is a server, the functions of the device may also be realized by the cooperative action of multiple information processing devices connected over a network. Hereinafter, each of the structural elements will be described further. Note that functional configurations similar to those described in the first, second, and fifth embodiments above will be denoted with common signs, and thus duplicate description thereof will be reduced or omitted.

[0108] The recording control unit 602 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and records, in association with taken images, metadata based on an analysis result of taken images by the image analysis unit 502. For example, the recording control unit 602 may record a position of a point at which a designated action occurred within the taken images. In addition, the recording control unit 602 may record information about an object included in the taken images. Alternatively, when the first image processing device 600 includes the rotational angle computation unit 504, the recording control unit 602 may also record a rotational angle of taken images computed by the rotational angle computation unit 504.

[0109] The rotational angle computation unit 652 may be provided when the first image processing device 600 does not include the rotational angle computation unit 504. The rotational angle computation unit 652 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and computes a rotational angle of taken images, similarly to the rotational angle computation unit 504 discussed above. In the present embodiment, since the image analysis unit 502 is included in the first image processing device 600, the rotational angle computation unit 652 reads out from the storage unit 254 the metadata provided together with the taken images by the first image processing device 600, and on the basis of the metadata, computes the rotational angle of the taken images.

(7. Seventh embodiment)



[0110] Next, a seventh embodiment of the present disclosure will be described with reference to FIGS. 18 to 20. In the present embodiment, a point of regard in taken images is estimated on the basis of sensor data acquired together with the taken images, and the taken images are rotated so that the point of regard is positioned in a designated orientation with respect to the center of the taken images.

(7-1. Functional configuration)



[0111] FIG. 18 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an imaging device according to the seventh embodiment of the present disclosure. Referring to FIG. 18, the imaging device 700 includes an imaging unit 302, an image acquisition unit 304, a sensor 702, a sensor data analysis unit 704, a rotational angle computation unit 706, an image editing unit 114, and a storage unit 104. The imaging device 700 additionally may include a communication unit 102. Also, the imaging device 700 additionally may include a display control unit 116 and a display unit 118.

[0112] In the present embodiment, the imaging device 700 is a device that executes imaging itself to acquire taken images, and edits the acquired images on the basis of sensor data. The imaging device 300 may also transmit edited images to another device via a network, store the edited images in a storage unit, or display the edited images by itself.

[0113] The imaging device 700 may be a terminal device whose primary function is an imaging function, like a digital camera, for example, but may also be a terminal device including an imaging function as an additional function, like a tablet, a mobile phone (including a smartphone), or a game console. The imaging device 700 is realized by the hardware configuration of an information processing device discussed later, for example. Hereinafter, each of the structural elements will be described further. Note that functional configurations similar to those described in the first and third embodiments above will be denoted with common signs, and thus duplicate description thereof will be reduced or omitted.

[0114] The sensor 702 is realized by various sensors, such as an acceleration sensor, a gyro sensor, a geomagnetic sensor (detecting bearing), an optical sensor, and a sound sensor (including a microphone that acquires sound data), for example. The sensor data analysis unit 704 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and analyzes sensor data provided by the sensor 702. The sensor data analysis unit 704 detects a sound direction of speech arriving at the imaging device 700, for example, by analysis of the sensor data. In addition, the sensor data analysis unit 704 may also detect a bearing in the taken images (for example, north, south, east, or west) by analysis of the sensor data.

[0115] The rotational angle computation unit 706 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and computes a rotational angle of the taken images on the basis of a result of analysis of sensor data in the sensor data analysis unit 704. More specifically, the rotational angle computation unit 706 computes a rotational angle of the taken images so that a reference point in the taken images specified by the analysis of the sensor data is positioned in a designated orientation with respect to the center of the taken images. For example, when a sound direction of speech arriving at the imaging device 700 is detected by the sensor data analysis unit 704, the rotational angle computation unit 706 may compute a rotational angle using a point in the taken images corresponding to the sound direction as the reference point. In this case, the rotational angle computation unit 706 may also be said to estimate that the point corresponding to the sound direction is the point of regard in the taken images, and compute a rotational angle so that the point of regard comes to an easy-to-see position.

[0116] Alternatively, when a bearing in the taken images is detected by the sensor data analysis unit 704, the rotational angle computation unit 706 may compute a rotational angle using a point in the taken images corresponding to a designated bearing (north, for example) as the reference point. In this case, the taken images may be a series of frame images taken in chronological succession, and the rotational angle computation unit 706 may also compute a rotational angle so that each frame of the taken images shares a common bearing.

(7-2. Example of rotational angle computation)



[0117] A more specific example of the computation of the rotational angle of taken images by the rotational angle computation unit 706 of the imaging device 700 discussed above will be described further with reference to FIGS. 19 and 20.

[0118] FIG. 19 is a diagram for explaining a first example of rotational angle computation for a taken image according to a seventh embodiment of the present disclosure. FIG. 19 illustrates a taken image 17 including multiple users P1 to P3. Note that in the illustrated example, the taken image 17 is a 360° image taken using a full-perimeter camera, and thus no image exists in the central part of the taken image 17.

[0119] Herein, the users P1 to P3 included in the taken image 17 are participating in a meeting, for example, and one of the users P1 to P3 speaks. The speech spoken by the user arrives at the imaging device 700, and is detected by a microphone included in the sensor 702. The sensor data analysis unit 704 detects the sound direction of the detected speech by analysis of the speech data provided by the microphone.

[0120] In the illustrated example, the user P1 is speaking, and the direction in which the user P1 is present becomes the sound direction. The sensor data analysis unit 704 detects the sound direction. The rotational angle computation unit 706 may estimate that a point in the taken image corresponding to the detected sound direction is the point of regard in the taken image, and compute a rotational angle of the taken image 17 so that this point is positioned below the center of the taken image 17. The taken image 17 rotated by the image editing unit 114 according to the computed rotational angle is labeled the taken image 17r. In the taken image 17r, the speaking user P1 may be observed in the same orientation as the real up and down.

[0121] Note that the rotational angle computation unit 706 may also compute a rotational angle so that the estimated point of regard is positioned in any orientation with respect to the center of the taken image 17, but if a rotational angle is computed so that the point of regard is positioned below as described in the foregoing, for example, the up and down of the world depicted in the taken image 17 near the point of regard matches the up and down when the taken image 17 is observed, and thus more naturally observable taken images may be provided.

[0122]  FIG. 20 is a diagram for explaining a second example of rotational angle computation for a taken image according to a seventh embodiment of the present disclosure. FIG. 20 illustrates an example of a taken image 15 taken by pointing the imaging device 700 in a vertical direction. The imaging device 700 includes the fisheye lens 11 included in the imaging unit 302, and the optical axis direction of the fisheye lens 11 is an approximately vertical direction. In addition, the imaging device 700 is moving in an approximately horizontal direction, or in other words a direction perpendicular to the optical axis direction of the fisheye lens 11.

[0123] Herein, the imaging device 700 detects bearing with a geomagnetic sensor included in the sensor 702. The sensor data analysis unit 704 detects the bearing in the taken image 15 (north (N), south (S), east (E), west (W)) by analysis of the sensor data provided by the geomagnetic sensor. According to the detection result, the taken image 15 is being taken while moving the imaging device 700 in a north-east direction. The rotational angle computation unit 706 may treat a point in the taken image corresponding to a designated bearing in the taken image 15, in this case north (N), as the reference point, and compute a rotational angle of the taken image 15 so that this point is positioned below the center of the taken image 15.

[0124] By having the image editing unit 114 rotate the taken image according to the rotational angle computed in this way, the taken image 15 is displayed with north at the top, regardless of the movement direction of the imaging device 700, for example. Consequently, the observer may recognize, from the taken image 15, what lies in which direction from the imaging device 700, for example. In addition, when the taken image 15 is taken while the imaging device 700 is moving, the movement direction of the imaging device 700 may also be recognized from the taken image 15.

(8. Eighth embodiment)



[0125] Next, an eighth embodiment of the present disclosure will be described with reference to FIGS. 21 and 22. In the present embodiment, functions similar to the imaging device 700 according to the seventh embodiment above are realized by being distributed between an imaging device and an image processing device.

[0126] FIG. 21 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an image processing device according to the eighth embodiment of the present disclosure, and FIG. 22 is a block diagram illustrating a schematic functional configuration of an image processing device according to the eighth embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0127] Referring to FIG. 21, the imaging device 800 includes an imaging unit 402, a storage unit 104, a sensor 702, a sensor data analysis unit 704, and a recording control unit 802. The imaging device 800 additionally may include a communication unit 102 or a rotational angle computation unit 706. Also, the imaging device 800 additionally may include a display control unit 116 and a display unit 118.

[0128] In the present embodiment, the imaging device 800 is a device that executes imaging itself to acquire taken images, and records the acquired images together with metadata based on sensor data. The imaging device 800 transfers images with associated metadata to the image processing device 850 via a removable recording medium included in the storage unit 104, or transmits images with associated metadata to the image processing device 850 from the communication unit 102 via a network.

[0129] Referring to FIG. 22, the image processing device 850 includes a communication unit 252, a storage unit 254, an image acquisition unit 256, a rotational angle computation unit 852, and an image editing unit 114. Additionally, the image processing device 850 may also include a display control unit 116 and a display unit 118.

[0130] In the present embodiment, the image processing device 850 is a device that acquires images with associated metadata from the imaging device 800 via the network, and edits the acquired images according to the metadata. The image processing device 850 may also transmit edited images to another device via a network, store the edited images in a storage unit, or display the edited images by itself.

[0131] The imaging device 800 may be a terminal device whose primary function is an imaging function, like a digital camera, for example, but may also be a terminal device including an imaging function as an additional function, like a tablet, a mobile phone (including a smartphone), or a game console. Also, the image processing device 850 may be a terminal device such as various kinds of PCs, a tablet, a mobile phone (including a smartphone), a game console, or a media player, and may also be a server that provides a service to a terminal device via a network. The imaging device 800 and the image processing device 850 are realized by the hardware configuration of an information processing device discussed later, for example. When the image processing device 850 is a server, the functions of the image processing device 850 may also be realized by the cooperative action of multiple information processing devices connected over a network. Hereinafter, each of the structural elements will be described further. Note that functional configurations similar to those described in the first, second, fourth, and seventh embodiments above will be denoted with common signs, and thus duplicate description thereof will be reduced or omitted.

[0132] The recording control unit 802 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and records, in association with taken images, metadata based on an analysis result of sensor data by the sensor data analysis unit 704. For example, the recording control unit 802 may record a sound direction of sound arriving at the imaging device 800, or the position of a point within the taken images corresponding to the sound direction. In addition, the recording control unit 802 may record a bearing in the taken images. Alternatively, when the imaging device 800 includes the rotational angle computation unit 706, the recording control unit 802 may also record a rotational angle of taken images computed by the rotational angle computation unit 706.

[0133] The rotational angle computation unit 852 may be provided when the imaging device 800 does not include the rotational angle computation unit 706. The rotational angle computation unit 852 is realized by a CPU operating according to a program stored in memory, for example, and computes a rotational angle of taken images, similarly to the rotational angle computation unit 706 discussed above. In the present embodiment, since the sensor data analysis unit 704 is included in the imaging device 800, the rotational angle computation unit 852 reads out from the storage unit 254 the metadata provided together with the imaging device by the imaging device 800, and on the basis of the metadata, computes the rotational angle of the taken images.

(9. Hardware Configuration)



[0134] Next, a hardware configuration of an information processing device according to an embodiment of the present disclosure will be described with reference to FIG. 23. FIG. 23 is a block diagram for describing a hardware configuration of an information processing device. An illustrated information processing device 900 may implement, for example, the image processing apparatus (including the first image processing apparatus and the second image processing apparatus) and the imaging apparatus in the above-described embodiments.

[0135] The information processing device 900 includes a central processing unit (CPU) 901, read only memory (ROM) 903, and random access memory (RAM) 905. In addition, the information processing device 900 may include a host bus 907, a bridge 909, an external bus 911, an interface 913, an input device 915, an output device 917, a storage device 919, a drive 921, a connection port 923, and a communication device 925. Further, the information processing device 900 may include an imaging device 933 and a sensor 935 as necessary. The information processing device 900 may include a processing circuit called as a digital signal processor (DSP) or an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) instead of or in addition to the CPU 901.

[0136] The CPU 901 functions as an operation processor and a controller, and controls all or some operations in the information processing device 900 in accordance with a variety of programs recorded on the ROM 903, the RAM 905, the storage device 919, or a removable recording medium 927. The ROM 903 stores a program, an operation parameter, and the like which are used by the CPU 901. The RAM 905 primarily stores a program which is used in the execution of the CPU 901 and a parameter which is appropriately modified in the execution. The CPU 901, the ROM 903, and the RAM 905 are connected to each other by the host bus 907 including an internal bus such as a CPU bus. In addition, the host bus 907 is connected to the external bus 911 such as a peripheral component interconnect/interface (PCI) bus via the bridge 909.

[0137] The input device 915 is a device which is operated by a user, such as a mouse, a keyboard, a touch panel, a button, a switch, and a lever. The input device 915 may be, for example, a remote control device using infrared light or other radio waves, or may be an external connection device 929 such as a mobile phone operable in response to the operation of the information processing device 900. The input device 915 includes an input control circuit which generates an input signal on the basis of information input by a user and outputs the input signal to the CPU 901. By operating the input device 915, a user inputs various types of data to the information processing device 900 or requires a processing operation.

[0138] The output device 917 includes a device capable of visually or audibly notifying the user of acquired information. The output device 917 may be a display device such as a liquid crystal display (LCD), a plasma display panel (PDP), and an organic electro-luminescence (EL) display, an audio output device such as a speaker and a headphone, a printer device, or the like. The output device 917 may output a result obtained from the processing of the information processing device 900 in a form of a video such as text and an image, and an audio such as voice and sound.

[0139] The storage device 919 is a device for data storage which is configured as an example of a storage unit of the information processing device 900. The storage device 919 includes, for example, a magnetic storage device such as a hard disk drive (HDD), a semiconductor storage device, an optical storage device, or a magneto-optical storage device. The storage device 919 stores a program to be executed by the CPU 901, various types of data, various types of data acquired from the outside, and the like.

[0140] The drive 921 is a reader/writer for the removable recording medium 927 such as a magnetic disk, an optical disc, a magneto-optical disk, and a semiconductor memory, and is built in the information processing device 900 or externally attached thereto. The drive 921 reads out information recorded in the removable recording medium 927 attached thereto, and outputs the read-out information to the RAM 905. Further, the drive 921 writes record in the removable recording medium 927 attached thereto.

[0141] The connection port 923 is a port used to directly connect a device to the information processing device 900. The connection port 923 may include, for example, a universal serial bus (USB) port, an IEEE1394 port, and a small computer system interface (SCSI) port. The connection port 923 may further include an RS-232C port, an optical audio terminal, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) (registered trademark) port, and so on. The connection of the external connection device 929 to the connection port 923 makes it possible to exchange various types of data between the information processing device 900 and the external connection device 929.

[0142] The communication device 925 is, for example, a communication interface including a communication device or the like for a connection to a communication network 931. The communication device 925 may be, for example, a communication card for a wired or wireless local area network (LAN), Bluetooth (registered trademark), a wireless USB (WUSB) or the like. In addition, the communication device 925 may be a router for optical communication, a router for an asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), a modem for various kinds of communication, or the like. The communication device 925 transmits a signal to and receives a signal from, for example, the Internet or other communication devices on the basis of a predetermined protocol such as TCP/IP. In addition, the communication network 931 connected to the communication device 925 may be a network connected in a wired or wireless manner, and is, for example, the Internet, a home LAN, infrared communication, radio wave communication, satellite communication, or the like.

[0143] The imaging device 933 is a device that generates a captured image by shooting an image of real space using an image sensor such as a charge coupled device (CCD) or complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS), as well as various members such as a lens for controlling the formation of an object image on the image sensor, for example. The imaging device 933 may be a device that shoots a still image, and may also be a device that shoots a moving image.

[0144] The sensor 935 includes various sensors such as an acceleration sensor, a gyro sensor, a geomagnetic sensor, an optical sensor, and an audio sensor. The sensor 935 acquires information on a state of the information processing device 900, such as the posture of the case of the information processing device 900, and information on an environment around the information processing device 900, such as the brightness and noise around the information processing device 900. The sensor 935 may also include a global positioning system (GPS) sensor that receives GPS signals and measures the latitude, longitude, and altitude of the device.

[0145] The example of the hardware configuration of the information processing device 900 has been described so far. Each of the above-described structural elements may be configured using a general-purpose member, and may also be configured using hardware specialized in the function of each structural element. Such a configuration may also be modified as appropriate in accordance with the technological level at the time of the implementation.

(10. Supplement)



[0146] The embodiments of the present disclosure may include, for example, an information processing device (an image processing apparatus (including the first image processing apparatus and the second image processing apparatus) or an imaging apparatus) as described above, a system including a plurality of information processing apparatuses, an information processing method executed by the information processing device or the system, a program for causing the information processing device to function, and a non-transitory tangible media having the program recorded thereon.

Reference Signs List



[0147] 

100, 450, 500, 850 image processing device

102, 252communication unit

104, 254storage unit

106, 256, 304 image acquisition unit

108 vector computation unit

110 point detection unit

112, 258, 504, 652, 706, 852 rotational angle computation unit

114 image editing unit

200, 600first image processing device

202, 602, 802 recording control unit

250, 650second image processing device

300, 400, 700, 800 imaging device

302, 402imaging unit

502 image analysis unit

702 sensor

704 sensor data analysis unit




Claims

1. An image processing device (100; 450; 500; 850) comprising:

an image acquisition unit (106; 256; 304) configured to acquire 360° images; and

a rotational angle computation unit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) configured to compute a rotational angle of the 360° images in a manner that a reference point included in the 360° images is positioned in a designated orientation with respect to a center of the 360° images,
wherein:

the rotational angle computation unit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) is configured to compute the rotational angle using a point of regard estimated in the 360° images as the reference point,

the rotational angle computation unit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) is configured to estimate the point of regard on a basis of an analysis result of the 360° images,

the image acquisition unit (106; 256; 304) is configured to acquire the 360° images taken in chronological succession via a fisheye lens, and

the rotational angle computation unit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) is configured to estimate that a point of origin of motion vectors in the 360° images is the point of regard, and

when the point of origin is detected in a peripheral portion of the 360° images, the rotational angle computation unit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) is configured to estimate that the point of origin is the point of regard.


 
2. The image processing device (100; 450; 500; 850) according to claim 1, wherein:
the rotational angle computation unit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) is configured to estimate that a point at which a designated action occurred in the 360° images is the point of regard.
 
3. The image processing device (100; 450; 500; 850) according to claim 2, wherein:

the image acquisition unit (106; 256; 304) is configured to acquire the 360° images including a plurality of users, and

the rotational angle computation unit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) is configured to estimate that a point at which the designated action indicating a user who is speaking from among the plurality of users occurred is the point of regard.


 
4. The image processing device (100; 450; 500; 850) according to claim 1, wherein:
the rotational angle computation unit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) is configured to estimate the point of regard on a basis of sensor data acquired together with the 360° images.
 
5. The image processing device (100; 450; 500; 850) according to claim 1, wherein:
the rotational angle computation unit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) is configured to compute the rotational angle in a manner that the reference point is positioned below the center of the 360° images.
 
6. The image processing device (100; 450; 500; 850) according to claim 1, wherein:
the rotational angle computation unit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) is configured to compute the rotational angle using a point in the 360° images corresponding to a designated bearing indicated by bearing data acquired together with the 360° images as the reference point.
 
7. The image processing device (100; 450; 500; 850) according to claim 1, wherein:
the rotational angle computation unit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) is configured to compute the rotational angle using a point on an object in the 360° images as the reference point.
 
8. The image processing device (100; 450; 500; 850) according to claim 7, wherein:
the rotational angle computation unit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) is configured to compute the rotational angle in a manner that the reference point in each frame of the 360° image is positioned in the same orientation with respect to the center of the 360° image.
 
9. The image processing device (100; 450; 500; 850) according to claim 1, wherein:
when a point of origin and a point of convergence of motion vectors are both detected in the 360° image, the rotational angle computation unit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) is configured to compute the rotational angle in a manner that a direction joining the point of origin and the point of convergence matches a designated direction.
 
10. An image processing method comprising:

acquiring 360° images; and

computing, by a processor, a rotational angle of the 360° images in a manner that a reference point included in the 360° images is positioned in a designated orientation with respect to a center of the 360° images,
wherein:

the processor is configured to compute the rotational angle using a point of regard estimated in the 360° images as the reference point,

the processor is configured to estimate the point of regard on a basis of an analysis result of the 360° images, and

the 360° images are taken in chronological succession via a fisheye lens, and

the processor is configured to estimate that a point of origin of motion vectors in the 360° images is the point of regard, and

when the point of origin is detected in a peripheral portion of the 360° images, the rotational angle computation unit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) is configured to estimate that the point of origin is the point of regard.


 
11. A computer program product causing a computer to realize:

a function of acquiring 360° images; and

a function of a processor computing a rotational angle of the 360° images in a manner that a reference point included in the 360° images is positioned in a designated orientation with respect to a center of the 360° images,
wherein:

the rotational angle is computed using a point of regard estimated in the 360° images as the reference point,

the point of regard is estimated on a basis of an analysis result of the 360° images,

the 360° images are taken in chronological succession via a fisheye lens, and

a point of origin of motion vectors in the 360° images is the point of regard, and

when the point of origin is detected in a peripheral portion of the 360° images, the rotational angle computation unit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) is configured to estimate that the point of origin is the point of regard.


 


Ansprüche

1. Bildverarbeitungsvorrichtung (100; 450; 500; 850), die Folgendes umfasst:

eine Bilderfassungseinheit (106; 256; 304), die dazu ausgelegt ist, 360°-Bilder zu erfassen; und

eine Drehwinkelberechnungseinheit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852), die dazu ausgelegt ist, einen Drehwinkel der 360°-Bilder in einer Weise zu berechnen, dass ein Referenzpunkt, der in den 360°-Bildern beinhaltet ist, mit Bezug auf eine Mitte der 360°-Bilder in einer benannten Ausrichtung positioniert ist,
wobei:

die Drehwinkelberechnungseinheit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) dazu ausgelegt ist, den Drehwinkel unter Verwendung eines Betrachtungspunktes, der in den 360°-Bildern als der Referenzpunkt geschätzt ist, zu berechnen,

die Drehwinkelberechnungseinheit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) dazu ausgelegt ist, den Betrachtungspunkt auf Basis eines Analyseergebnisses der 360°-Bilder zu schätzen,

die Bilderfassungseinheit (106; 256; 304) dazu ausgelegt ist, die 360°-Bilder, die in chronologischer Reihenfolge via eine Fischaugenlinse aufgenommen wurden, zu erfassen, und

die Drehwinkelberechnungseinheit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) dazu ausgelegt ist, zu schätzen, dass ein Ursprungspunkt von Bewegungsvektoren in den 360°-Bildern der Betrachtungspunkt ist, und

wenn der Ursprungspunkt in einem peripheren Abschnitt der 360°-Bilder detektiert wird, die Drehwinkelberechnungseinheit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) dazu ausgelegt ist, zu schätzen, dass der Ursprungspunkt der Betrachtungspunkt ist.


 
2. Bildverarbeitungsvorrichtung (100; 450; 500; 850) nach Anspruch 1, wobei:
die Drehwinkelberechnungseinheit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) dazu ausgelegt ist, zu schätzen, dass ein Punkt, an dem eine benannte Aktion in den 360°-Bildern aufgetreten ist, der Betrachtungspunkt ist.
 
3. Bildverarbeitungsvorrichtung (100; 450; 500; 850) nach Anspruch 2, wobei:

die Bilderfassungseinheit (106; 256; 304) dazu ausgelegt ist, die 360°-Bilder, die eine Vielzahl von Benutzern beinhalten, zu erfassen, und

die Drehwinkelberechnungseinheit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) dazu ausgelegt ist, zu schätzen, dass ein Punkt, an dem die benannte Aktion aufgetreten ist, die einen Benutzer anzeigt, der unter der Vielzahl von Benutzern spricht, der Betrachtungspunkt ist.


 
4. Bildverarbeitungsvorrichtung (100; 450; 500; 850) nach Anspruch 1, wobei:
die Drehwinkelberechnungseinheit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) dazu ausgelegt ist, den Betrachtungspunkt auf Basis von Sensordaten zu schätzen, die zusammen mit den 360°-Bildern erfasst wurden.
 
5. Bildverarbeitungsvorrichtung (100; 450; 500; 850) nach Anspruch 1, wobei:
die Drehwinkelberechnungseinheit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) dazu ausgelegt ist, den Drehwinkel in einer Weise zu berechnen, dass der Referenzpunkt unter der Mitte der 360°-Bilder positioniert ist.
 
6. Bildverarbeitungsvorrichtung (100; 450; 500; 850) nach Anspruch 1, wobei:
die Drehwinkelberechnungseinheit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) dazu ausgelegt ist, den Drehwinkel unter Verwendung eines Punktes in den 360°-Bildern, der einer benannten Peilung entspricht, die von Peilungsdaten angezeigt wird, die zusammen mit den 360°-Bildern erfasst wurden, als den Referenzpunkt zu berechnen.
 
7. Bildverarbeitungsvorrichtung (100; 450; 500; 850) nach Anspruch 1, wobei:
die Drehwinkelberechnungseinheit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) dazu ausgelegt ist, den Drehwinkel unter Verwendung eines Punktes auf einem Objekt in den 360°-Bildern als den Referenzpunkt zu berechnen.
 
8. Bildverarbeitungsvorrichtung (100; 450; 500; 850) nach Anspruch 7, wobei:
die Drehwinkelberechnungseinheit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) dazu ausgelegt ist, den Drehwinkel in einer Weise zu berechnen, dass der Referenzpunkt in jedem Rahmen des 360°-Bildes mit Bezug auf die Mitte des 360°-Bildes in derselben Ausrichtung positioniert ist.
 
9. Bildverarbeitungsvorrichtung (100; 450; 500; 850) nach Anspruch 1, wobei:
wenn ein Ursprungspunkt und ein Konvergenzpunkt von Bewegungsvektoren beide im 360°-Bild detektiert werden, die Drehwinkelberechnungseinheit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) dazu ausgelegt ist, den Drehwinkel in einer Weise zu berechnen, dass eine Richtung, die den Ursprungspunkt mit dem Konvergenzpunkt verbindet, mit einer benannten Richtung übereinstimmt.
 
10. Bildverarbeitungsverfahren, das Folgendes umfasst:

Erfassen von 360°-Bildern und

Berechnen durch einen Prozessor eines Drehwinkels der 360°-Bilder in einer Weise, dass ein Referenzpunkt, der in den 360°-Bildern beinhaltet ist, mit Bezug auf eine Mitte der 360°-Bilder in einer benannten Ausrichtung positioniert ist,
wobei:

der Prozessor dazu ausgelegt ist, den Drehwinkel unter Verwendung eines Betrachtungspunktes, der in den 360°-Bildern als der Referenzpunkt geschätzt ist, zu berechnen,

der Prozessor dazu ausgelegt ist, den Betrachtungspunkt auf Basis eines Analyseergebnisses der 360°-Bilder zu schätzen, und

die 360°-Bilder in chronologischer Reihenfolge via eine Fischaugenlinse aufgenommen werden und

der Prozessor dazu ausgelegt ist, zu schätzen, dass ein Ursprungspunkt von Bewegungsvektoren in den 360°-Bildern der Betrachtungspunkt ist, und

wenn der Ursprungspunkt in einem peripheren Abschnitt der 360°-Bilder detektiert wird, die Drehwinkelberechnungseinheit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) dazu ausgelegt ist, zu schätzen, dass der Ursprungspunkt der Betrachtungspunkt ist.


 
11. Computerprogrammprodukt, das einen Computer veranlasst, Folgendes zu realisieren:

eine Funktion zum Erfassen von 360°-Bildern und

eine Funktion zum Berechnen durch einen Prozessor eines Drehwinkels der 360°-Bilder in einer Weise, dass ein Referenzpunkt, der in den 360°-Bildern beinhaltet ist, mit Bezug auf eine Mitte der 360°-Bilder in einer benannten Ausrichtung positioniert ist,
wobei:

der Drehwinkel unter Verwendung eines Betrachtungspunktes, der in den 360°-Bildern als der Referenzpunkt geschätzt ist, berechnet wird,

der Betrachtungspunkt auf Basis eines Analyseergebnisses der 360°-Bilder geschätzt wird,

die 360°-Bilder in chronologischer Reihenfolge via eine Fischaugenlinse aufgenommen werden und

ein Ursprungspunkt von Bewegungsvektoren in den 360°-Bildern der Betrachtungspunkt ist, und

wenn der Ursprungspunkt in einem peripheren Abschnitt der 360°-Bilder detektiert wird, die Drehwinkelberechnungseinheit (112; 258; 504; 652; 706; 852) dazu ausgelegt ist, zu schätzen, dass der Ursprungspunkt der Betrachtungspunkt ist.


 


Revendications

1. Dispositif de traitement d'images (100 ; 450 ; 500 ; 850) comprenant :

une unité d'acquisition d'images (106 ; 256 ; 304) configurée pour acquérir des images à 360° ; et

une unité de calcul d'angle de rotation (112 ; 258 ; 504 ; 652 ; 706 ; 852) configurée pour calculer un angle de rotation des images à 360° de manière à ce qu'un point de référence contenu dans les images à 360° soit positionné dans une orientation définie par rapport à un centre des images à 360°,
dans lequel :

l'unité de calcul d'angle de rotation (112 ; 258 ; 504 ; 652 ; 706 ; 852) est configurée pour calculer l'angle de rotation en utilisant un point de regard estimé dans les images à 360° comme le point de référence,

l'unité de calcul d'angle de rotation (112 ; 258 ; 504 ; 652 ; 706 ; 852) est configurée pour estimer le point de regard sur la base d'un résultat d'analyse des images à 360°,

l'unité d'acquisition d'images (106 ; 256 ; 304) est configurée pour acquérir les images à 360° prises en succession chronologique par le biais d'un objectif fish-eye, et

l'unité de calcul d'angle de rotation (112 ; 258 ; 504 ; 652 ; 706 ; 852) est configurée pour estimer qu'un point d'origine de vecteurs de mouvement dans les images à 360° est le point de regard, et

quand le point d'origine est détecté dans une partie périphérique des images à 360°, l'unité de calcul d'angle de rotation (112 ; 258 ; 504 ; 652 ; 706 ; 852) est configurée pour estimer que le point d'origine est le point de regard.


 
2. Dispositif de traitement d'images (100 ; 450 ; 500 ; 850) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel :
l'unité de calcul d'angle de rotation (112 ; 258 ; 504 ; 652 ; 706 ; 852) est configurée pour estimer qu'un point auquel une action définie s'est déroulée dans les images à 360° est le point de regard.
 
3. Dispositif de traitement d'images (100 ; 450 ; 500 ; 850) selon la revendication 2, dans lequel :

l'unité d'acquisition d'images (106 ; 256 ; 304) est configurée pour acquérir les images à 360° comportant une pluralité d'utilisateurs, et

l'unité de calcul d'angle de rotation (112 ; 258 ; 504 ; 652 ; 706 ; 852) est configurée pour estimer qu'un point auquel l'action définie indiquant un utilisateur qui parle parmi la pluralité d'utilisateurs s'est déroulée est le point de regard.


 
4. Dispositif de traitement d'images (100 ; 450 ; 500 ; 850) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel :
l'unité de calcul d'angle de rotation (112 ; 258 ; 504 ; 652 ; 706 ; 852) est configurée pour estimer le point de regard sur la base de données de capteur acquises conjointement avec les images à 360°.
 
5. Dispositif de traitement d'images (100 ; 450 ; 500 ; 850) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel :
l'unité de calcul d'angle de rotation (112 ; 258 ; 504 ; 652 ; 706 ; 852) est configurée pour calculer l'angle de rotation de manière à ce que le point de référence soit positionné au-dessous du centre des images à 360°.
 
6. Dispositif de traitement d'images (100 ; 450 ; 500 ; 850) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel :
l'unité de calcul d'angle de rotation (112 ; 258 ; 504 ; 652 ; 706 ; 852) est configurée pour calculer l'angle de rotation en utilisant un point dans les images à 360° correspondant à un relèvement défini indiqué par des données de relèvement acquises conjointement avec les images à 360° comme le point de référence.
 
7. Dispositif de traitement d'images (100 ; 450 ; 500 ; 850) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel :
l'unité de calcul d'angle de rotation (112 ; 258 ; 504 ; 652 ; 706 ; 852) est configurée pour calculer l'angle de rotation en utilisant un point sur un objet dans les images à 360° comme le point de référence.
 
8. Dispositif de traitement d'images (100 ; 450 ; 500 ; 850) selon la revendication 7, dans lequel :
l'unité de calcul d'angle de rotation (112 ; 258 ; 504 ; 652 ; 706 ; 852) est configurée pour calculer l'angle de rotation de manière à ce que le point de référence dans chaque trame de l'image à 360° soit positionné dans la même orientation par rapport au centre de l'image à 360°.
 
9. Dispositif de traitement d'images (100 ; 450 ; 500 ; 850) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel :
quand un point d'origine et un point de convergence de vecteurs de mouvement sont tous deux détectés dans l'image à 360°, l'unité de calcul d'angle de rotation (112 ; 258 ; 504 ; 652 ; 706 ; 852) est configurée pour calculer l'angle de rotation de manière à ce qu'une direction reliant le point d'origine et le point de convergence corresponde à une direction définie.
 
10. Procédé de traitement d'images comprenant :

l'acquisition d'images à 360° ; et

le calcul, par un processeur, d'un angle de rotation des images à 360° de manière à ce qu'un point de référence contenu dans les images à 360° soit positionné dans une orientation définie par rapport à un centre des images à 360°,
dans lequel :

le processeur est configuré pour calculer l'angle de rotation en utilisant un point de regard estimé dans les images à 360° comme le point de référence,

le processeur est configuré pour estimer le point de regard sur la base d'un résultat d'analyse des images à 360°, et

les images à 360° sont prises en succession chronologique par le biais d'un objectif fish-eye, et

le processeur est configuré pour estimer qu'un point d'origine de vecteurs de mouvement dans les images à 360° est le point de regard, et

quand le point d'origine est détecté dans une partie périphérique des images à 360°, l'unité de calcul d'angle de rotation (112 ; 258 ; 504 ; 652 ; 706 ; 852) est configurée pour estimer que le point d'origine est le point de regard.


 
11. Produit-programme informatique conduisant un ordinateur à réaliser :

une fonction d'acquisition d'images à 360° ; et

une fonction d'un processeur calculant un angle de rotation des images à 360° de manière à ce qu'un point de référence contenu dans les images à 360° soit positionné dans une orientation définie par rapport à un centre des images à 360°,
dans lequel :

l'angle de rotation est calculé en utilisant un point de regard estimé dans les images à 360° comme le point de référence,

le point de regard est estimé sur la base d'un résultat d'analyse des images à 360°,

les images à 360° sont prises en succession chronologique par le biais d'un objectif fish-eye, et

un point d'origine de vecteurs de mouvement dans les images à 360° est le point de regard, et

quand le point d'origine est détecté dans une partie périphérique des images à 360°, l'unité de calcul d'angle de rotation (112 ; 258 ; 504 ; 652 ; 706 ; 852) est configurée pour estimer que le point d'origine est le point de regard.


 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description