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1. WO2016024200 - STRUCTURED LIGHT PROJECTION AND IMAGING

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STRUCTURED UGHT PROJECTION AND IMAGING

FIELD

[001] The invention is related to systems, methods, and computer program products for structured light projection and imaging.

BACKGROUND

[002] Sazbon et al. describe a method of this sort for range estimation in "Qualitative Real-Time Range Extraction for Preplanned Scene Partitioning Using Laser Beam Coding;" Pattern Recognition Letters 26 (2005), pages 1772-1781, which Is incorporated herein by reference. A phase-only filter codes the laser beam into M d ifferent diffraction patterns, corresponding to M different range segments in the workspace. Thus, each plane in the illuminated scene is irrad iated with the pattern corresponding to the range of the plane from the light source. A common camera can be used to capture images of the scene, which may be processed to determine the ranges of objects in the scene. The authors describe an iterative procedure for designing the phase-only filter based on the Gerchberg-Saxtori algorithm.

[003] US Patent Publication No, 2011/0158508 to Shpurit et al. discloses a method for mapping which uses a diffractive optical element and includes projecting onto an object a pattern of multiple spots having respective positions and shapes, such that the positions of the spots In the pattern are uncorrelated, while the shapes share a common characteristic. An image of the spots on the object is captu red and processed so as to derive a three-dimensional (3 D) map of the object.

[004] US Patent Nos. 8,090, 194, 8,208, 719 and 8,538,166 to Gordon et al. and International Publication No. WO2008062407 also to Gordon et al. disclose various aspects of structured light projection and imaging as well featu res, hardware and algorithms used in structured l ight projection and imaging.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

[005] in accordance with an aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided an optical system, including: (a) an emitter array including a plurality of individual emitters, wherein each emitter in the emitter array is operable to emit a light beam which is characterized by a native beam width; (b) an optical subunit, operable to transform a plurality of light beams emitted by the emitter array, wherein each of the transformed light beams is characterized by an expanded beam width that is wider than the native beam width of the corresponding light beam and Is wider than a facilitating beam width; and (c) a dlffractlve optical element ( DOE) that Is capable of diffracting the transformed light beams to provide l ight patterns whose angular resol ution meets a light pattern target angular resolution criteria.

[006] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optical subunit is an optical assembly including a plural ity of optical elements.

[007] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there Is further provided a system, wherein each emitter in the emitter array Is operable to emit a light beam whose native beam width is narrower than the facilitating beam width by at least one order of magnitude.

[008] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optical subunit is an optical assembly including a plural ity of optical elements having a common optical axis common to the plurality of optical elements.

[009] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optical subunit is operable to transform the plurality of light beams to provide the plu rality of transformed light beams using transforming optical components included in the optical subunit, wherein the transforming optica! components are common to the plurality of light

[0010] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there Is further provided a system, wherei n the emitter array and the optica! subunit are positioned relative to one another such that the optica! subunit further transforms the plurality of light beams by deflecting the plurality of light beams so that the plurality of transformed l ight beams are projected onto the dlffractlve optica! element at different angles of incidence, resulting In providing of a structured light pattern which includes the plurality of light patterns.

[0011] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein each emitter in the emitter array is operable to emit a light beam, out of the plurality of light beams, which is characterized by a first beam divergence; wherein the optica! su bunit is further operable to transform the plurality of light beams so that each of the transformed light beams is characterized by a second beam divergence that is smaller than the first beam divergence of the corresponding light oea m .

[0012] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein for each individual emitter of the emitter array there is at least one other individual emitter of the emitter array positioned at a distance which is at least 10 times smaller than any beam-width of any transformed light beam out of the plurality of transformed light beams.

[0013] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is fu rther provided a system, wherein the expanded beam widths of each of the plurality of transformed light beams is at least 3 times larger than the native beam width of the corresponding light beams.

[0014] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein

[0015] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optica! subunit is a te!ecentric optica! subunit.

[0016] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the plu rality of individual emitters are positioned on a focal plane of the optical subunit.

[0017] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is fu rther provided a system, wherein the plu rality of light beams propagates to the optical subunit in substantially parallel paths.

[0018] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the plu rality of light patterns provided by the diffractive optical element are copies of a predetermined light pattern.

[0019] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the copies of the predetermined light pattern are adjacent to each other.

[002.0] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the utilization of the single diffractive optical element by the optical system for the generating of the plurality of copies of the predetermined light pattern facilitates projection of a high contrast and high clarity overall output pattern of the optical system.

[0021] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern partly overlaps at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern.

[002.2] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the predetermined light pattern includes multiple copies of a repeated subpattern, wherein in each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern at least one subpattern overlaps a subpattern of at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern generated by light originating from another light emitter.

[0023] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, further including an emitter array control system which is configured and operable to control activation of d ifferent subgroups of emitters of the emitter array, thereby resulting in providing of offset overall output patterns of the optica! system at different times.

[0024] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, further includ ing projection optics to image at least a part of a structured light pattern 'which includes the plural ity of light patterns onto an object, an imaging sensor adapted to capture an image of the object with the structured light pattern projected thereon, and a processing unit adapted to process the image to determine range parameters.

[0025] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optical subunit includes a plurality of optica! elements having a common optical axis common to the plurality of optica! elements, wherein the common optical axis is folded at least once.

[002.6] !n accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is f urther provided a system, wherein each emitter of the emitter array is a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) emitter.

[0027] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the emitter a rray is dense with individual emitters of coherent light beams, thereby enabli ng spatially efficient providing of a high energy structured l ight pattern.

[0028] In accordance with an aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided an optica! system, including: (a) an emitter array including a plurality of individual emitters, wherein each emitter in the emitter array is operable to emit a light beam which is characterized by a first beam divergence; ( b) an optical subunit, operable to transform a plurality of light beams emitted by the emitter array, wherein each of the transformed light beams is characterized by a second beam divergence that is smaller than the first beam divergence of the correspondi ng l ight beam; and (c) a diffractive optica! element (DOE) capable of diffracting the transformed light beams to provide light patterns.

[002.9] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optica! subunit Is an optical assembly including a plural ity of optica! e!ements.

[0030] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein a facilitating beam divergence is defined for the DOE so that incidence upon the DOE of coherent light beams whose divergence is lower than the faciiitating beam divergence result in provision of light patterns whose contrast meets a light pattern target contrast criteria; wherein the second beam divergences of the plurality of transformed l ight beams are lower than the facilitating beam divergence.

[0031 ! In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein each emitter in the emitter array is operable to emit a light beam whose first beam divergence is larger than the facilitating beam divergence by at least one order of magnitude.

[0032] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optica! subunit is an optical assembly including a plural ity of optica! elements having a common optical axis common to the plurality of optica! elements.

[0033] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optica! subunit is operable to transform the plurality of light beams to provide the plu rality of transformed light beams using transforming optica! components included in the optica! subunit, wherein the transformi ng optical elements are common to the plurality of light beams.

[0034] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherei n the emitter array and the optica! subunit are positioned relative to one another such that the optica! subunit further transform the plurality of light beams by deflecting the plurality of light beams so that the plurality of transformed l ight beams are projected onto the diffractive optical element at different angles of incidence, resulting in providing of a plurality of l ight patterns by the diffractive optical element.

[0035] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optical subunit is a telecentric optica! subunit.

[0036] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, 'wherein the plu rality of individual emitters are positioned on a focal plane of the optical subunit.

[0037] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is fu rther provided a system, wherein the plu rality of light beams propagates to the optica! subunit in substantially parallel paths.

[0038] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the plu rality of light patterns provided by the diffractive optical element are copies of a predetermined light pattern.

[0039] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the copies of the predetermined light pattern are adjacent to each other.

[0040] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the utilization of the single diffractive optical element by the optical system for the generating of the plurality of copies of the predetermined light pattern facilitates projection of a high contrast and high clarity overall output pattern of the optica! system.

[0041 ] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern partly overlaps at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern.

[0042] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the predetermined light pattern includes multiple copies of a repeated subpattern, wherein in each provided copy of

the predetermined light pattern at least one subpattern overlaps a subpattern of at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern generated by light originating from another light emitter.

[0043] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, further including an emitter array control system which is configured and operable to control activation of d ifferent subgroups of emitters of the emitter array, thereby resulting in providing of offset overall output patterns of the optical system at different times.

[0044] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, further includ ing projection optics to image at least a part of a structured light pattern which includes the plural ity of light patterns onto an object, an imaging sensor adapted to capture an image of the object with the structured light pattern projected thereon, and a processing unit adapted to process the image to determine range parameters.

[0045] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optical subunit includes a plurality of optical elements having a common optical axis common to the plurality of optical elements, wherein the common optical axis is folded at least once.

[0046] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein each emitter of the emitter array is a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) emitter.

[0047] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the emitter a rray is dense with individual emitters of coherent light beams, thereby enabli ng spatially efficient providing of a nigh energy structured l ight pattern.

[0048] In accordance with an aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided an optica! system, including: (a) an emitter array including a plurality of individual emitters, wherein each emitter in the emitter array is operable to emit a light beam; (b) an optical subu nit, operable to: (i) transform a plurality of l ight beams emitted by the emitter array, wherein the transformation includes

expansion and/or col!irnation of the plurality of light beams; and (ii) to direct the piuraiity of transformed l ight beams onto the diffractive optical element at different angles of incidence, resulting in providing of a plural ity of light patterns by the d iffractive optica! element; and (c) a diffractive optical element (DOE) that is capable of diffracting the transformed light beams to provide light patterns.

[0049] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein for each individual emitter of the emitter array there is at least one other individual emitter of the emitter array positioned at a distance which is smaller than any beam width of any transformed light beam out of the plurality of transformed light beams.

[0050] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optica! subunit is an optical assembly including a piurai ity of optical elements.

[0051] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optica! subunit includes a plurality of optica! elements having a common optica! axis common to the plurality of optica! elements.

[0052 ! In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optica! subunit is operable to transform the plurality of light beams to provide the plu rality of transformed light beams using transforming optical components, out of the plurality of optica! components, which are common to the plurality of light beams.

[0053] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there Is further provided a system, wherei n the emitter array and the optica! subunit are positioned relative to one another such that the optica! subunit further transform the plurality of light beams by deflecting the plurality of light beams so that the plurality of transformed l ight beams are projected onto the diffractive optica! element at different angles of incidence, resulting in providing of a plurality of light patterns by the diffractive optica! element.

[0054] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optical subunit is a telecentric optical subunit.

[0055] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, 'wherein the plu rality of Individual emitters are positioned on a focal plane of the optical subunit.

[0056] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is fu rther provided a system, wherein the plu rality of light beams propagates to the optical subunit in substantially parallel paths.

[0057] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the plu rality of light patterns provided by the dlffractlve optical element are copies of a predetermined light pattern.

[0058] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the copies of the predetermined light pattern are adjacent to each other.

[0059] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the utilization of the single diffractive optical element by the optical system for the generating of the plurality of copies of the predetermined light pattern facilitates projection of a high contrast and high clarity overall output pattern of the optical system.

[0060] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern partly overlaps at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern.

[0061] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the predetermined light pattern includes multiple copies of a repeated subpattern, wherein In each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern at least one subpattern overlaps a subpattern of at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern generated by light originating from another light emitter,

[0062] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, further including an emitter array control system which is configured and operable to control activation of d ifferent subgroups of emitters of the emitter array, thereby resulting in providing of offset overall output patterns of the optical system at different times.

[0063] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, further includ ing projection optics to image at least a part of a structured light pattern which includes the plural ity of light patterns onto an object, an imaging sensor adapted to capture an image of the object with the structured light pattern projected thereon, and a processing unit adapted to process the image to determine range parameters.

[0064] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optical subunit includes a plurality of optica! elements having a common optical axis common to the plurality of optical elements, wherein the common optical axis is folded at least once.

[0065] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein each emitter of the emitter array is a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) emitter.

[0066] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the emitter a rray is dense with individual emitters of coherent light beams, thereby enabli ng spatially efficient providing of a high energy structured l ight pattern.

[0067] In accordance with an aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided an optical system, including: (a) an emitter array including a plurality of individual emitters arranged so as to form a planar emission plane, wherein each emitter in the emitter array is operable to emit a light beam; (b) an optica! subunit, operable to: (i) transform a piura!ity of light beams emitted by the emitter array, wherein the transformation includes expansion and/or co!iimation of

the plurality of light beams; and (ii) to direct the plurality of transformed light beams onto the diffractive optica! element at different angles of incidence, resulting in providing of a plurality of light patterns by the diffractive optical element; and (c) a d iffractive optical element (DOE) that is capable of diffracting the transformed light beams to provide light patterns.

[0068] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optica! subunit includes a plurality of optica! elements having a common optica! axis common to the plurality of optica! elements.

[0069] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optica! subunit is operable to transform the plurality of light beams to provide the plu rality of transformed light beams using transforming optical components, out of the plurality of optica! components, which are common to the plurality of light beams.

[0070] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherei n the emitter array and the optica! subunit are positioned relative to one another such that the optica! subunit further transform the plurality of light beams by deflecting the plurality of light beams so that the plurality of transformed l ight beams are projected onto the diffractive optica! element at different angles of incidence, resulting in providing of a plurality of light patterns by the diffractive optical element.

[0071] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optica! subunit is a te!ecentric optica! subunit.

[0072] !n accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the plu rality of individual emitters are positioned on a focal plane of the optica! subunit.

[0073] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is fu rther provided a system, wherein the plu rality of light beams propagates to the optica! subunit in substantially parallel paths.

[0074] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the plu rality of light patterns provided by the dlffractlve optical element are copies of a predetermined light pattern.

[0075] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the copies of the predetermined light pattern are adjacent to each other.

[0076] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the utilization of the single diffractive optical element by the optica! system for the generating of the plurality of copies of the predetermined light pattern facilitates projection of a high contrast and high clarity overall output pattern of the optical system.

[0077] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern partly overlaps at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern.

[0078] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the predetermined light pattern includes multiple copies of a repeated subpattern, wherein in each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern at least one subpattern overlaps a subpattern of at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern generated by light originating from another light emitter,

[0079] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, further including an emitter array control system which is configured and operable to control activation of d ifferent subgroups of emitters of the emitter array, thereby resulting in providing of offset overall output patterns of the optical system at different times.

[0080] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, further includ ing projection optics to image at least a part of a structured light pattern which includes the plural ity of light patterns onto an object, an imaging sensor adapted to capture an image of the object with the structured light pattern projected thereon, and a processing unit adapted to process the image to determine range parameters.

[0081] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there Is further provided a system, wherein the optical subunit includes a plurality of optical elements having a common optical axis common to the plurality of optical elements, wherein the common optical axis is folded at least once.

[0082] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein each emitter of the emitter array

Is a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) emitter.

[0083] In accordance with an aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided an optical system, including: (a) an emitter array including a plurality of individual emitters, wherein each emitter in the emitter array is operable to emit a l ight beam; (b) an optical subunit, operable to transform a plurality of light beams emitted by the emitter array, wherein the transformation i ncludes expansion and/or collimation of the plurality of light beams; (c) a diffractive optical element ( DOE) that is capable of diffracting the transformed light beams to provide light patterns; wherein a combination of the optical subunit and the diffractive optical element is characterized by a distortion function; wherein the plurality of Individual emitters are arranged in a non-uniform configuration whose relation to a predefined u niform grid is an inverse function of the distortion function.

[0084] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optical subunit is operable to d irect the plurality of transformed light beams onto the diffractive optical element at d ifferent angles of incidence, resulting in providing of a plurality of light patterns by the diffractive optical element.

[0085] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optical subunit is a telecentric optical subunit.

[0086] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the plu rality of individual emitters are positioned on a focal plane of the optical subunit.

[0087] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is fu rther provided a system, wherein the plu rality of light beams propagates to the optical subunit in substantially parallel paths.

[0088] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the plu rality of light patterns provided by the diffractive optical element are copies of a predetermined light pattern.

[0089] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the copies of the predetermined light pattern are adjacent to each other.

[0090] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the utilization of the single diffractive optical element by the optical system for the generating of the plurality of copies of the predetermined light pattern facilitates projection of a high contrast and high clarity overall output pattern of the optical system.

[0091] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern partly overlaps at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern.

[0092] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the predetermined light pattern includes multiple copies of a repeated subpattern, wherein in each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern at least one subpattern overlaps a subpattern of at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern generated by light originating from another light emitter.

[0093] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, further including an emitter array control system which is configured and operable to control activation of d ifferent subgroups of emitters of the emitter array, thereby resulting in providing of offset overall output patterns of the optica! system at different times.

[0094] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, further includ ing projection optics to image at least a part of a structured light pattern 'which includes the plural ity of light patterns onto an object, an imaging sensor adapted to capture an image of the object with the structured light pattern projected thereon, and a processing unit adapted to process the image to determine range parameters.

[0095] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a system, wherein the optical subunit includes a plurality of optica! elements having a common optical axis common to the plurality of optica! elements, wherein the common optical axis is folded at least once.

[0096] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is f urther provided a system, wherein each emitter of the emitter array is a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) emitter.

[0097] In accordance with an aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a method for projection, the method including: (a) emitting a plurality of light beams, wherein each of the plu rality of light beams is characterized by a native beam width; (b) transforming the plurality of light beams so that each of the transformed light beams is characterized by an expanded beam width that is wider than the native beam width of the corresponding light beam and is wider than a faciiitating beam width; and (c) diffracting the transformed light beams by a diffractive optical element (DOE) to provide light patterns 'whose angular resolution meets a light pattern target angular resolution criteria.

[0098] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the emitti ng includes emitting the plurality of light beams whose native beam widths are narrower than the facilitating beam width by at least one order of magnitude.

[0099] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, further includ ing deflecting the plurality of light beams, projecting the plurality of transformed light beams onto the diffractive optical element at different angles of incidence, and providing a plurality of light patterns by the diffractive optical element, wherein the structured light pattern includes the plurality of light patterns.

[00100] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein each light beam out of the plurality of light beams is characterized by a first beam divergence; wherein the transforming of the plurality of light beams Includes transforming the plurality of light beams so that each of the transformed light beams is characterized by a second beam divergence that is smaller than the first beam divergence of the correspondi ng light beam,

[00101] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the transforming of the plurality of light beams includes transforming the plurality of light beams so that the expanded beam widths of each of the plurality of transformed light beams is at least 3 times larger than the native beam width of the correspond ing light beams.

[00102] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the transforming is executed by a telecentric optical subunit.

[00103] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the transforming is executed by an optical subunit, wherein the emitting is executed by a plurality of individual emitters which are positioned on a focal plane of the optical su bunit.

[00104] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the plu rality of light beams propagates to the optical subunit in substantially parallel paths.

[00105] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the plu rality of light patterns provided by the diffractive optica! element are copies of a predetermined light pattern.

[00106] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the copies of the predetermined light pattern are adjacent to each other.

[00107] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the plurality of copies of the predetermined light pattern facilitates projection of a high contrast and high clarity overall output pattern of the optical system.

[00108] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern partly overlaps at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern,

[00109] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there Is further provided a method, wherein the predetermined light pattern includes multiple copies of a repeated subpattern, wherein in each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern at least one subpattern overlaps a subpattern of at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern generated by light originating from another light emitter.

[00110] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a method, further including an emitter array control system which is configured and operable to control activation of different subgroups of emitters of the emitter array, thereby resulting in providing of offset overall output patterns of the optica! system at different times,

[00111] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a method, further including projecting onto an object at least a part of a structured light pattern which includes the plurality of light patterns, capturing an image of the object with the structured light pattern projected thereon, and processing the image to determine range parameters.

[00112] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the optica! subunit Includes a plurality of optica! elements having a common optical axis common to the plurality of optica! elements, 'wherein the common optical axis is folded at least once.

[00113] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein each emitter of the emitter array is a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) emitter.

[00114] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the emitter array is dense with individual emitters of coherent light beams, thereby enabling spatially efficient providing of a high energy structured light pattern.

[00115] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the emitter array includes a plurality of individual emitters arranged so as to form a planar emission plane.

[001 6] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein a combination of the optical subunit and the diffractive optica! element is characterized by a distortion function; wherein the plurality of individual emitters are arranged in a non-uniform configuration whose relation to a predefined uniform grid is an inverse function of the distortion function.

[00117] in accordance with an aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a method for projection, the method including: (a) emitting a plurality of light beams, wherein each of the plurality of light is characterized by a first beam divergence; (b) transforming the plurality of light beams so that each of the transformed light beams is characterized by a second beam divergence that is smaller than the first beam divergence of the corresponding light beam; and (c) diffracting the transformed light beams by a diffractive optica! element (DOE) to provide light patterns.

[00118] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there Is further provided a method, wherein the optical subunit is, an optical assembly including a plural ity of optical elements.

[00119] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein a facilitating beam divergence is defined for the DOE so that incidence upon the DOE of coherent light beams whose divergence is lower than the faciiitating beam divergence result in provision of light patterns whose contrast meets a light pattern target contrast criteria; wherein the second beam divergences of the plurality of transformed l ight beams are lower than the facilitating beam divergence.

[00120] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein each emitter in the emitter array Is operable to emit a light beam whose fi rst beam divergence is larger than the facilitating beam divergence by at least one order of magnitude.

[00121 ] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the optical subunit Is an optical assembly including a plural ity of optical elements having a common optical axis common to the plurality of optical elements.

[00122] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the optical subunit is operable to transform the plu rality of light beams to provide the plu rality of transformed light beams using transforming optica! components included in the optical subunit, wherein the transformi ng optical elements are common to the plurality of light beams.

[00123] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the emitter array and the optica! subunit are positioned relative to one another such that the optica! subunit further transform the plurality of light beams by deflecting the plurality of light beams so that the plurality of transformed light beams are projected onto the

d iffractive optical element at different angles of i ncidence, resulting in providing of a plurality of light patterns by the diffractive optical element,

[00124] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the transforming is executed by a telecentric optical subunit.

[00125] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the transforming is executed by an optica! subunit, wherein the emitting is executed by a plurality of individual emitters which are positioned on a focal plane of the optica! su bunit.

[00126] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the plu rality of light beams propagates to the optica! subunit in substantially parallel paths.

[00127] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the plu rality of light patterns provided by the diffractive optical element are copies of a predetermined light pattern.

[00128] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the copies of the predetermined light pattern are adjacent to each other.

[00129] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the plu rality of copies of the predetermined light pattern faci litates projection of a high contrast and high clarity overal l output pattern of the optica! system.

[00130] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there Is further provided a method, wherein each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern partly overlaps at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern.

[00131 ] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the predetermined light pattern includes multiple copies of a repeated subpattern, wherein in each provided copy of

the predetermined light pattern at least one subpattern overlaps a subpattern of at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern generated by light originating from another light emitter.

[00132] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, further includ ing an emitter array control system which is configured and operable to control activation of d ifferent subgroups of emitters of the emitter array, thereby resulting in providing of offset overall output patterns of the optica! system at different times.

[00133] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, fu rther including projecting onto an object at least a part of a structured light pattern which includes the plurality of light patterns, capturing an i mage of the object with the structured light pattern projected thereon, and processing the image to determine range parameters.

[00134] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the optica! subunit includes a plurality of optica! elements having a common optica! axis common to the plurality of optica! elements, wherein the common optica! axis is folded at least once.

[00135] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein each emitter of the emitter array is a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) emitter.

[00136] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the emitter array is dense with i ndividual emitters of coherent light beams, thereby enabli ng spatially efficient providing of a high energy structured l ight pattern.

[00137] !n accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the emitter a rray includes a plurality of individual emitters arranged so as to form a planar emission plane.

[00138] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein a combination of the optical subunit and the diffractive optica! element is characterized by a distortion function; wherein the plurality of individ ual emitters are arranged in a non-uniform configuration whose relation to a predefined uniform grid is an inverse function of the distortion function.

[00139] In accordance with an aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a method for projection, the method including: (a) emitting a plurality of light beams; (bj transforming the plurality of light beams, the transforming including expandi ng and/or collimating of the plurality of light beams; (c) directing the plurality of transformed l ight beams onto a diffractive optical element at different angles of incidence; and id) diffracti ng the plurality of transformed light beams by the diffractive optical element (DOE) to provide a plurality of light patterns; wherein the emitting includes emitting the plurality of light beams by a plurality of individual emitters which are positioned so that for each of the individual emitters there is at least one other individual emitter positioned at a d istance which is smaller than any beam width of any transformed light beam out of the plurality of transformed light beams.

[00140] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the transforming is executed by a telecentric optical subunit.

[00141] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the transforming is executed by an optical subunit, wherein the emitting is executed by a plurality of Individual emitters which are positioned on a focal plane of the optical su bunit.

[00142] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the plu rality of light beams propagates to the optical subunit in substantially parallel paths.

[00143] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the plu rality of light patterns provided by the diffractive optica! element are copies of a predetermined light pattern.

[00144] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the copies of the predetermined light pattern are adjacent to each other.

[00145] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the plu rality of copies of the predetermined light facilitates projection of a high contrast and high clarity overall output pattern of the optical system.

[00146] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern partly overlaps at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern.

[00147] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the predetermined light pattern includes multiple copies of a repeated subpattern, wherein in each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern at least one subpattern overlaps a subpattern of at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern generated by light originating from another light emitter.

[00148] in accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, further includ ing an emitter array control system which is configured and operable to control activation of d ifferent subgroups of emitters of the emitter array, thereby resulting in providing of offset overall output patterns of the optical system at different times,

[00149] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, fu rther including projecting onto an object at least a part of a structured light pattern which includes the plurality of light patterns, capturing an i mage of the object with the structured light pattern projected thereon, and processing the image to determine range parameters.

[00150] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the optica! subun!t includes a

plurality of optical elements having a common optical axis common to the plural ity of optica! elements, wherein the common optical axis is folded at least once.

[00151] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein each emitter of the emitter array is a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) emitter.

[00152] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the emitter array is dense 'with individual emitters of coherent light beams, thereby enabli ng spatially efficient providing of a high energy structured l ight pattern.

[00153] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the emitter a rray includes a plurality of individual emitters arranged so as to form a planar emission plane.

[00154] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein a combination of the optical subun!t and the diffractive optica! element is characterized by a distortion function; wherein the plurality of individ ual emitters are arranged in a non-uniform configuration whose relation to a predefined uniform grid is an inverse function of the distortion function.

[00155] in accordance with an aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a method, including : (a) obtaining optica! characteristics of a doe positioned at a given distance from a light source; (b) obtai ning data in respect of a provisional light beams emission layout through the doe; (c) obtaining a target emission layout; and (d) determining an emitters layout based on the target emission layout and based on the provisional light beams emission layout,

[00156] In accordance with an embodiment of the presently disclosed su bject matter, there is further provided a method, wherein the determi ning comprises determining an emitters layout, such that light emitted by a l ight source positioned at the given distance from the DOE and having a plurality of emitters arranged according to the emitters layout is diffracted through the DOE is characterized by a layout that meets a target emission criterion that is based on the target emission layout,

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[00157] In order to understand the invention and to see how it may be carried out i n practice, embodiments will now be described, by 'way of non-limiting example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in wh ich :

[00158] Figs. 1, 2, 3A and 3B are functional block diagrams illustrating various examples of optical system, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter;

[00159] Figs, 4A and 4B Illustrate examples of an optical system within an environment which includes the optical system and a projection of structured light, i n accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter;

[00160] Fig, 4C is an exploded view of an example of the projection of an optical system, including projection of structured light made of a plurality of partially overlapping light patterns, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter;

[00161] Figs. 5 and 6 are functional block diagrams illustrating various examples of optical system, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter;

[00162] Fig. 7 illustrates an example of an optical system within an environment which includes the optical system and an object, In accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter;

[00163] Figs, 8, 9 and 10 are functional block diagrams illustrating various examples of optica! system, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter;

[00164] Fig. 11 illustrates a hexagonal configuration of emitter array in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter;

[00165] Figs. 12A through 12G i ncludes diagrams which are related to possible-d istortions in the light patterns generated by the system of Fig. 1, and ways to reduce such distortion, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter;

[00166] Figs. 13, 14 and 15 is a functional block diagram illustrating an example of an optical system, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter;

[00167] Fig. 16 is a block diagram illustration of a system according to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, incl uding support for a remote mode of a 3D capture application feature;

[00168] Figs. 17-24 are flow charts illustrating examples of various methods for projection, in accordance with examples of the presently d isclosed subject matter; and

[00169] Fig. 25 is a flow chart ill ustrating an example of a method, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter.

[00170] It will be appreciated that for simplicity and clarity of illustration, elements shown in the figures have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements may be exaggerated relative to other elements for clarity. Fu rther, where considered appropriate, reference numerals may be repeated among the figures to indicate corresponding or analogous elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[00171] In the following detailed description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understand ing of the invention. However, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other Instances, well-known methods, procedures, and components have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the present invention.

[00172] In the drawings and descriptions set forth, identical reference nu merals indicate those components that are common to different embodiments or configurations.

[00173] U nless otherwise defined, ail technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skil l in the art to which this invention belongs. The materials, methods, and examples provided herein are illustrative only and not intended to be limiting. Except to the extent necessary or inherent in the processes themselves, no particular order to steps or stages of methods and processes described in this disclosure, i ncluding the figures, is i ntended or implied. In many cases the order of process steps may vary without changing the purpose or effect of the methods described.

[00174] U nless speci fically stated otherwise, as apparent from the fol lowing d iscussions, It is appreciated that throughout the specification discussions utilizing terms such as "processing", "computing", "determining", "generating", "configuring", "selecti ng", "defining", or the like, include action and/or processes of a computer that manipulates and/or transforms data into other data, said data represented as physical quantities, e.g. such as electronic quantities, and/or said data representing the physical objects. The terms "computer", "processor", and "controller" should be expansively construed to cover any kind of electronic device, component or unit with data processing capabilities, including, by way of non-limiting example, a personal computer, a server, a computing system, a communication device, a processor (e.g. d igital signal processor (DSP), and possibly with embedded memory), a microcontroller, a field programmable gate array ( FPGA), an application specific I ntegrated circuit (ASIC), etc.), any other electronic computing device, and or any combination thereof.

[00175] The operations in accordance with the teachings herein may be performed by a computer specially constructed for the desired pu rposes or by a general purpose computer specially configured for the desired purpose by a computer program stored in a computer readable storage medium.

[00176] As used herein, the phrase "for example," "such as", "for instance" and variants thereof describe non-limiting embodiments of the presently disclosed subject matter. Reference in the specification to "one case", "some cases", "other cases" or variants thereof means that a particular feature, structure or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment(s) is included in at least one embod iment of the presently disclosed subject matter. Thus the appearance of the phrase "one case", "some cases", "other cases" or variants thereof does not necessarily refer to the same embodiment(s).

[00177] It is appreciated that certain features of the presently disclosed subject matter, which are, for clarity, described in the context of separate embodiments, may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features of the presently disclosed subject matter, which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable sub-combination.

[00178] In embodi ments of the presently disclosed subject matter one or more stages illustrated in the figures may be executed In a different order and/or one or more groups of stages may be executed simultaneously and vice versa. The figures illustrate a general schematic of the system architecture in accordance with an embod iment of the presently disclosed subject matter. Each module in the figures can be made up of any combination of software, hardware and/or firmware that performs the functions as defined and explained herein. The modules i n the figures may be centralized in one location or dispersed over more than one location.

[00179] It should be noted that some examples of the presently disclosed subject matter are not limited in application to the details of construction and the arrangement of the components set forth in the following descri ption or i llustrated i n the drawings. The invention can be capable of other embodi ments or of being practiced or carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein is for the pu rpose of descri ption and should not be regarded as limiting.

[00180] In this document, an element of a drawing that is not described within the scope of the drawing and is labeled with a numeral that has been described in a previous drawing has the same use and description as in the previous drawings. Similarly, an element that is identified in the text by a n umeral that does not appear I n the drawing described by the text, has the same use and description as in the previous drawings where It was described.

[00181] The d rawings in this document may not be to any scale. Different Figs, may use different scales and different scales can be used even within the same drawing, for example different scales for different views of the same object or different scales for the two adjacent objects.

[0Q182] Fig. 1 is a functional block diagram illustrating an example of optical system 200, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter. Optical system 200 can include emitter array 210 as a light source whose light can be diffracted by diffractive optical element 230, after being manipulated by optical subunlt 220. Along this optical path, the light emitted by emitter array 210 is patterned to provide structured light 300 having a corresponding structured light pattern.

[00183] While not necessarily coded, the structured light pattern may be a coded light pattern. The term "coded light pattern" (also occasionally referred to as "structured light pattern" and "coded structured light pattern") Is well accepted in the art, and should be construed in a non-limiting way to include patterns which are specially designed so that codewords are assigned to a set of locations (e.g. pixels or pixel neighborhoods) of the pattern. Every coded location (e.g. every coded pixel or coded pixel neighborhoods) has its own codeword, so there is a d irect mapping from the codewords to the corresponding coordinates of the location (e.g. pixel or pixel neighborhood) in the pattern. The codewords are symbols (e.g. alphabetic characters such as numbers) which are embedded in the coded pattern, e.g. using any combination of one or more of the following: grey levels, colors, color levels, polarization and geometrical shapes. Examples of coded light pattern are disclosed in various patents and patent applications assigned to the assignee of the present application, such as US patent serial nu mber 8,090,194, US patent serial number 8,538, 166, 8,208,719, and international Publication No. WO2008/062407, all of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

[00184] Emitter array 210 includes a plurality of individual emitters 212, and each emitter 2.12 in the emitter array 210 is operable to emit a light beam 110. Optical subunit 220 is operable to transform a pl ural ity of light beams 110 emitted by emitter array 210; and diffractive optical element (DOE) 230 is capable of diffracting the transformed light beams 130 so as to provide light patterns.

[00185] Diffractive optical element (DOE) 230 is capable of diffracting an incident coherent to provide a light pattern. The term "diffractive optica! element" (commonly abbreviated to DOE) is well accepted in the art, and should be construed i n a non-!irniting way to include phase elements that are capable of creating I nterference and diffraction to produce arbitrary distri butions of light (usually predefined ones). Diffractive optical element 230 may include a thin micro structure pattern to alter the phase of the light propagated through it. This phase pattern , based on its predesigri, can be capable of manipulating the light to almost any desired intensity profile of structured l ight 300.

[00186] Emitter array 210, which includes a plurality of individ ual emitters 212, is operable to emit a plurality of coherent light beams. Each emitter 212 in the emitter array is operable to emit a light beam, out of the aforementioned plurality of light beams, it is noted that while each of the emitted light beams is coherent within itself, the individual emitters may be implemented such that there is no coherence between the individual emitters. The individual emitters 212 of emitter array 210 may be laser emitters. Especially, each emitter 212 of emitter array 210 may be a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) emitter,

[00187] Optionally, each emitter 212 of the emitter array 210 is a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) emitter, each of which forms its own coherent light beam. Optionally, emitter array 210 is dense with individual emitters of coherent l ight beams, thereby enabling spatially efficient providing of a h igh energy structured l ight pattern.

[00188] It is noted that the number of emitters 212 in emitter array 210 may be selected accordi ng to different considerations such as (though not limited to) : required light intensity of system 200, geometrical considerations, design of the

structured light pattern to be projected by system 200, physical consideration (such as heat dissipation), and so on. In but few examples, emitter array 210 may be a 3x3 emitters array (i.e. including nine individual emitters 2.12 arrange in three rows of emitters, each include three individual emitters 212), a 10x20 emitters array, a 30x50 emitters array, a 100x100 emitters array, and so on. It is fu rther noted that the design of the array is not necessarily a squared tiled or even rectangu lar tiled (i.e. emitters are arranged in rows and columns), and many other designs may be used for the arrangement of emitters 212 within the array. This may include, by way of example, hexagonal tiling, semi-regular tiling, and even Irregular tiling.

[00189] The light from the various individual emitters 212 of emitter array 210 is provided to optical subu nlt 220, which is operable to transform the plu ral ity of light beams to provide a plurality of transformed light beams, and to direct the plurality of transformed light beams onto diffractive optical element 2.30, For the readability of the drawings, the light beams as emitted by emitter array 210 are denoted as light beams 110, and the transformed light beam di rected by optical subunit 220 onto DOE 230 are denoted 130. Within optical subu nit, the light beams are referred to as manipulated light beams 120. it will nevertheless be clear to a person who is of ord inary skill in the art that the different numerals are used for illustrative purposes and that the different light beams numerals refer to the various stages that the beams of l ight go through within the system 200.

[00190] Optionally, system 200 may Include output optics 2.40 through which the transformed light passes before exiting system 200 and being projected outside (e.g. onto a scene including one or more objects). Output optics may simply transfer the l ight as Is (e.g. a protective window), but may possibly also further manipulate it (e.g. filter it, or direct it towards an object).

[00191] Optical subunit 220 may transform the light from emitter array 210 i n many ways, in order for system 200 to yield the structured light pattern efficiently (I.e. transducing high percentage of the energy consumed by the emitter array to the projected structured light pattern) and with high quality. For example, structured l ight pattern efficiency can be defined by a certain (e.g. predefined) efficiency

threshold, such as a certain percentage (say 80% or above) transducing of the energy consu med by the emitter array to the projected structured light pattern for a given q uality threshold, for example, measured as a function of image resolution and/or a level of noise in the projected pattern. Some of the ways In which the light beams 100 are transformed in the optical subunlt 220 are discussed below, with respect to the following figures. It is noted that wh ile optical subunit 220 may include only a single element (e.g. a simple lens), in some cases it would include more than one element (e.g. a series of lenses), and therefore the optical subunit 220 is also occasionally referred to herein as optica! assembly 220. In the example of Fig. 1, the path of the light beams within optical subunit 220 is an arbitrary illustrative example, and it is noted that different kinds of paths may be used (e.g. folded paths, etc.).

[00192] It is noted that system 200 may be a teiecentric system. Optionally, optical subunit 220 may be a teiecentric optical subunit, consisting of (or otherwise I ncluding) a teiecentric compound lens (as is demonstrated for example in Fig. 2). in addition to the compound lens, the teiecentric optical subunit (if implemented) may i nclude additional optical components, e.g. mirrors for folding the optica! path of the l ight beams in optica! subunit 220. This may be achieved by placing the emitting ends of individual emitters 212 at the focal plane of the teiecentric optica! subunit (and especially in the focal plane of the teiecentric compound !ens of optica! subunit 220, if so implemented. This is demonstrated by way of example in Fig. 2, Optionally, the plurality of individual emitters 212 are positioned on the back focal plane of the optica! subunit. While not necessarily so, the compound lens which may be included i n optica! subunit 220 as described throughout the present disclosure may be i mplemented as a compound lens which is commonly referred to as a collimator.

[00193] It is noted that optica! unit 220 (whether including a compound lens or not) may be designed to produce a desired field of view. It may also be corrected for aberrations and distortion.

[00194] As mentioned above, a single DOE element (DOE 230) is used for d iffracting a plurality of light beams arriving from different emitters, after these light beams were transformed by optica! subunit 220. In optical subunit 220 itself, the

same components may be used in order to transform the plurality of light beams 110, That is, optionally, optica! subunit 220 may be operable to transform the plurality of light beams 110 to provide the plurality of transformed light beams 130 using transforming optica! components (e.g. lenses, mirrors, etc.) i ncluded in optical subunit 220, and these transforming optical components may be common to the plurality of light beams, it is noted that not necessari ly all of the components of optical subunit 220 are used to transform every single one of light beams HQ, and l ikewise not every light beam 110 must pass through (or be reflected from) ail of the optical components of optical subunit 220.

[00195] Notably, the dimensions of system 200 may vary between different implementations of the system. For example, different d imensions of the system 200 can be selected accord ing to a utilization for which the system is designated (e.g. overal l required illumination pattern size, complexity and intensity, and so on). However, by way of a non-limiting example only, few possible dimensions will be stated.

[0Q196] For example, the distance between emitter array 210 and DOE 230 (denoted LI) may be in the scale of order of a centimeter (e.g. 5 to 50 mil limeters) . For example, the diameter of optica! subunit 220 (and especially of a compound !ens included in optica! subunit 220), denoted Dl, may be also In the same order of magnitude of about a centimeter (e.g. 1 to 20 millimeters). The focal length of a compound lens of optical subunit 220 may be in the same order of magnitude of about a centimeter (e.g. 1 to 20 millimeters). The diameter of each single emitter 212 in emitter array 210 may be in the scale of order of a millimeter (e.g. 0.005-1 millimeter). The field of view (FOV) to which system 200 projects structured light may vary greatly, e.g. between 15"-150".

[00197] The FOV for system 200 may be designed based on various parameters, e.g. depending on the required application. For example, using system 200 for determining range parameters for automotive applications ((e.g. generating 3 D i mage of object in front of the car) may require a large FOV (e.g. 90°), while medical applications may require a smaller FOV (e.g. 45°). Implementations which rely on

dense epipoiar separation may require the projected light pattern to have relatively low radial distortion, which dictates a relatively low FOV.

[00198] As also demonstrated in Fig. 2, optionally, emitter ar ray 210 and optical subunlt 220 are positioned relative to one another such that optical subunit 22.0 transforms the plurality of light beams 110 by deflecting the plurality of light beams 110, so that the plurality of transformed l ight beams 130 are projected onto ci iffractive optical element 230 at different angles of incidence. According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, transforming the light beams 130 such that they are projected onto ciiffractive optical element 230 at different angles of incidence can enable provisioning of a plurality of light patterns by the ci iffractive optical element 230. Each such light pattern can be a result of one or more transformed light beams striking the DOE 230 at a different angle than the transformed light beams which result In other light patterns.

[00199] If the transformed light beams 130 are projected onto DOE 230 at d ifferent angles, the structured light pattern projected by system 200 may include the aforementioned plurality of light patterns, as discussed in the previous paragraph. It is noted that the deflection of the plurality of light beams 110 by optical subunlt 220 may include refracting these light beams once or more, reflecting these l ight beams once or more, or any other way of deflecting l ight beams. It is noted that while not necessarily so, each of the transformed light beams 130 which are deflected by optical subunit 220 may be projected onto DOE 230 at totally different angles (i.e. the Incidence angle of the chief ray in each of these transformed light beams 130 'would be singular, shared by no other chief ray of another transformed l ight beam 130).

[00200] Figs. 3A and 3 B are functional block diagrams il lustrating an example of optical system 200, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter.

[00201] In Fig. 3A, light rays of a single light beam 110(1) are traced, from emitter 212(1) of emitter array 210, through optical subunit 220 where it is deflected as manipulated light beam 120(1), to its projection onto DOE 230 as transformed light

beam 130(1) at incidence angle , where it is diffracted by diffractive optical element 230 to provide light pattern 140(1).

[002.02] In Fig. 3 B, light rays of two light beams are traced, in addition to light rays of light beam 110(1) discussed above, light rays of an additional light beam, light beam 110(2) are also traced. These light rays of light beam 110(2) are traced from emitter 212(2) of emitter array 210, through optical subunit 220 where it is deflected as manipulated light beam 120(2), to its projection onto DOE 230 as transformed l ight beam 130(2) at incidence angle β - which is different than the aforementioned angle a - where it is diffracted by the same diffractive optical element, DOE 230, to provide another light pattern 140(2). Clearly, the light rays emitted by other emitters 212 of emitter array 210 may strike onto DOE 230 at yet different angles (other than a and β), and are not illustrated in order to simplify the diagram.

[00203] As Is demonstrated by way of example in Fig, 3B, the plurality of light beams 110 emitted by emitter array 2.10 may propagate to the optical su bunit 2.20 in parallel (or substantially parallel) paths. Optionally, al l of the light beams 110 may propagate to the optical subunit 220 parallel to a common optical axis 10. It is noted that light beams are parallel to each other even if not all of the rays of one of these light beams are exactly parallel to all of the rays of any other of the light beams - as can be seen, this may be difficult if not impossi ble due to native d ivergence of the light source. Light beams are considered parallel to each other if the chief rays of these light beams are parallel to each other. It is noted that the light beams emitted by the Individual emitters do not have to be parallel to each other. This may be ach ieved, for example, by a proper design of a VCSEL array source, or a single field lens placed over the array.

[00204] Fig. 4A illustrates an example of system 200 within an environment which includes system 200 and a projection of structured light (denoted 150), in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, in the illustrated example of Fig. 4A, the light beam emitted by each i ndividual emitter of the 3x2 emitter array of system 200 (not Illustrated) results in projection of a single light pattern 140, to a total of six such light patterns. Each of the six light patterns Is a square bull's-eye pattern (including a black square within a black square frame), and for the sake of illustration, the central top light pattern in the diagram is highlighted.

[002.05] As can be seen, each of the light patterns 140 is emitted from system 200 in a different angle, and together the light patterns give rise to a structured light pattern projected by system 200, which is a structured light pattern consisting of six square bull's eye targets. Clearly, the shape of each ind ividual pattern in the example of Fig. 4A is arbitrary, and various different light patterns may be designed, based on a desired structured light pattern to be projected by system 200. it is noted that in the illustrated example, the light patterns 140 resulti ng from the different emitters are contiguous with each other precisely, but this is not necessary, and different light patterns 140 may be designed to partly overlap each other, or be separated from one another and with various gaps in between the patterns.

[00206] Since the same DOE 2.30 is used for the diffraction of the entire plurality of transformed light beams, optionally the plurality of light patterns 140 provided by the diffractive optica! element 230 are copies of a predetermi ned l ight pattern (such as the repeated square bull's eye pattern in the example of Fig. 4A). It is noted that the copies may be identical copies of each other (similar in pattern and in shape), but may also be spatially distorted copies of the predetermined light pattern. For example, light patterns 140 projected towards the margins of the structured light pattern 150 may be elongated with respect to light patterns 140 projected in the center of structured light pattern 150. This possible elongation may be d ue to any flat plane on which the structured light may be projected (and especially one which is perpendicular to the optical axis) forming different angles with the chief ray of each projected light pattern 140. Some kinds of d istortion wh ich may occur between the centers of different l ight patterns 140 are distortions types known in the art as "Barrel distortion" (in which image magnification decreases with distance from the optica! axis), " Pincushion distortion" (in which image magnification increases with the distance from the optica! axis) and "mustache distortion" (which behaves as barrel distortion close to the i mage center, and gradually turns into pincushion distortion towards the image periphery) or distortions si milar thereto, intensity distortions between the center and the sides of the structured light pattern may also potentially occur In some situations. Some ways in which distortion may be reduced In system 200 are discussed with respect to Figs. 12A through 12.G .

[002.07] However, In all of these examples, the basic shape of the predetermined l ight pattern will be kept in all of its copies (e.g. the bull's eye pattern) and for this particular example the shape of the bull's eye pattern wil l change from being square-to a parallelogram. This can be designed to still be recognizable by an interpreter of the structured light pattern (e.g. processing unit 260 discussed below). Like the arrangement of emitters 212 in emitters array 210, the tiling between the copies of the predetermined light pattern (if implemented) is not necessarily a squared tiled or even rectangular tiled (i .e. light pattern copies are arranged in rows and columns), and many other types and shapes of tiling may be used such as, by way of example, hexagonal tiling, semi-regular tiling, and even irregular tiling (i.e. tiling without a repeated pattern).

[00208] As mentioned above, optionally the copies of the predetermined light pattern (if implemented) are adjacent to each other (e.g. each copy of the predetermined light pattern may optionally be adjacent to one, or two, or three, etc. other copies of the predetermined light pattern) . This may be used for tili ng an area whose size Is much larger (e.g. at least 50 times larger) than a size of any of the projected copies of the predetermined light pattern. This way, using a relatively simple diffractive optical element as DOE 230 (which Is cheaper to design and to manufacture) which is designed to diffract an incident coherent light beam to provide a relatively simple light pattern - to generate much larger and more complex or intricate structured light pattern, e.g. as demonstrated (in small scale, only 6 times larger) in Fig. 4A.

[00209] Even more so, in the example of system 200 proposed above, a single d iffractive optical element (DOE 230) is used for generating the plurality of copies of the predetermined light pattern , thereby facilitating projection of a high contrast and high clarity overall output pattern of the optical system. In other words, the configuration of system 200 (e.g. utilization of a single diffractive optical element the generating of the plurality of copies of the predetermined light pattern) facilitates projection of a high contrast and high clarity overall output pattern of the optical system,

[002.10] Fig, 4B illustrates an example of system 2.00 within an envi ronment which includes system 200 and a projection of structured light (denoted 150), in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter. In the illustrated example of Fig. 4B, the light beam emitted by each i ndividual emitter of the emitter array of system 200 (not illustrated, including five emitters) results in projection of a single light pattern 140, to a total of five such light patterns. Like in Fig. 4A, each of the five light patterns is a square bull's-eye pattern (includ ing a black square within a black square frame). The edges of each of the patterns 140 are marked by a dashed line. As can be seen, each of the patterns 140 partly overlaps at least one other pattern 140.

[00211 ] Optionally, system 200 may be designed so that each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern partly overlaps at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern. The percent of the overlap between two patterns may vary, but it may very well exceed 25% (and possibly significantly more). Overlapping between such patterns may be used for reduci ng speckle noise, as discussed, for example, with respect to Fig. 4C.

[00212] Fig. 4C is an exploded view of an example of the projection of system 200 (not shown), including projection of structured light denoted 150 made of a plurality of partially overlapping light patterns 140, In accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter. In the Illustrated example of Fig. 4C, the light beam emitted by each i ndividual emitter of the emitter array of system 200 (not illustrated, Including three emitters) results in projection of a single light pattern 140(1), to a total of three such light patterns. In the case of Fig. 4C, each of the three-light patterns 140(1) includes four square bull's-eye patterns.

[00213] As is demonstrated in the example of Fig. 4C, optionally, the predetermined light pattern (of which the light patterns 140(1) are copies) including multiple copies of a repeated subpattern (i n this case - four copies of a repeated bull's eye pattern), wherein in each provided copy 140(1) of the predetermined light

pattern, at least one subpattern (i.e. bull's eye pattern in the example) overlaps a subpattern of at least one other provided copy 140(1) of the predetermined light pattern which is generated by light originating from another light emitter. For example, the highlighted subpattern In structured light pattern 150 (denoted 140') is i lluminated by subpatterns included in all of the three light patterns 140(11), 140(12) and 140(13) of Fig. 4C (the respective subpatterns are highlighted).

[00214] Therefore, the overall i ntensity in which this subpattern is illuminated arrives from three different individual emitters 212. Optionally, the individual emitters 212 of emitter array 210 are uncorreiated to each other at least in some respects, meaning that while possibly emitting in similar emission spectrum/wavelength, the phases of the different individ ual emitter are independent of each other. It is noted that such relation of uncorrelation may exist between any pair of emitters 212 in emitter array 2.10, and may also be limited (if implemented) to subgroups of emitters 212 within emitter array 210 . Therefore, the overall intensity i n which a subpattern is il luminated may arrive from a plurality of different individual emitters 212 whose phase is independent of each other. Since the i llumination arrives from different sources whose phase is independent of each other, the speckle noise may be reduced i n comparison to the speckle noise that would have been present in case the same subpattern had been illuminated with the same I ntensity by a single coherent source (such as a laser emitter).

[00215] The degree of overlapping between light patterns may be predesigned according to various criteria. Such criteria may be, for example, the amount of speckle noise desired to be reduced (the more overlapping the better), and on the other had the allowed minimal distance between the emitters (permitted by considerations such as heat dissipation and/or coherency independency).

[00216] Fig. 5 is a functional block diagram illustrating an example of optica! system 200, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter. In Fig. 5 there Is presented a possible utilization of the projection of the structured l ight pattern 150 in system 200. It is noted that these possible uses are offered by way of a non-limiting example, as many other uses will present themselves to a

person who is of skill in the art. Furthermore, wh ile the functionalities of utilizing the projection of system 200 are discussed as being i mplemented by components of the same system 200, it will be clear that such fu nctionalities may also be implemented by an external system and with add itional, fewer or other components for utilizing the projection.

[00217] As exemplified in Fig. 4B, while not necessarily so system 200 may incl ude projection optics (such as output optics 240) operable to image at least a part of the structured light pattern onto an object 400. System 200 may further include one or more imaging sensors 250 which are adapted to capture an image of object 400 with the structured light pattern 150 projected thereon, it is noted that the captured i mage may include only the light of structured l ight pattern 150 reflected from object 400 (denoted 310, e.g. if using illumi nation spectrum not found in the ambient lighting of object 150), but may also image additional l ight on top of the patterned light (such as ambient light reflecting from object 400, or light emitted by object 400). For example, the image of the object 400 can be an i R image.

[00218] System 200 in such an implementation may further include processi ng unit 260 which is adapted to process the image (or a plurality of images, e.g. video; possibly with the addition of other data used in the processing) in order to determine parameters for object 400. Especially, processing unit 260 may be configured and operable to process Image data generated by the one or more imaging sensors 250 for determining range parameters for object 400, such as a depth values (e.g. distance from the camera 250) for different parts of the imaged object 400.

[00219] Different techniques may be used for analyzing patterned image of an object in order to determine range parameters for the objects. Several such techniques are discussed in US patents serial numbers 8,090, 194, 8,208,719, 8,538, 166, and International Publication No. WO20Q8/062407 assigned to the same assignee, all of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

[00220] Optionally, processing unit 260 may be configured and operable to provide to an external system information which is based on the range parameters determined by it (including the range parameters themselves and/or information

which is selected and/or generated based on the range parameters). Th is may be facilitated by an optional hardware and/or software interface 270 which Is illustrated I n Fig. 5.

[00221 ] Fig. 6 is a functional block diagram illustrating an example of optical system 200, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter. As discussed above, optionally the optica! subunit 220 may include a plurality of optica! elements having a common optica! axis common to the plurality of optica! elements (denoted optica! axis 10 in Figs. 3A and 3B). As demonstrated in Fig. 6, optionally the common optica! axis 10 is folded at least once.

[00222] It is noted that optionally (e.g. as demonstrated in Fig. 6), the transformed l ight beams 130 which reach the DOE 230 may at least partially overlap with each other (i.e., with one or two or three, etc. other light beams} at the DOE plane.

[00223] Fig. 7 illustrates an example of optica! system 200 within an environment which includes system 200 and an object 400' in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter. For example, object 400' may be an object for which various parameters - e.g. range parameters - are to be determined by system 200.

[00224] As aforementioned, system 200 may be designed so that light beams which are emitted from different emitters 212 of the emitter array 210 result in projection of l ight pattern in different angles. As demonstrated in Fig. 3 B. optionally the ang!e in which such light pattern resulting from a single emitter 212 is projected - depends on the position of this emitter 212 with respect to optica! su bunit 220. Such a configuration enables system 200 to project two or more different projections of the structured light pattern, which are shifted with respect to one another. Especially, such a configuration enables system 200 to project two different projections of the structured light pattern, which are rigidly translated with respect to one another.

[00225] In the example illustrated in Fig. 7, system 200 includes an emitter array control system (not illustrated) which is configured and operable to control activation of different subgroups of emitters 212 of emitter array 210, thereby

resulting in providing of offset overall output patterns of the optical system at d ifferent times.

[002.26] For example, the individual emitters 212 of emitter array 210 may be arranged In alternating rows (each subgroup including either odd or even rows) of a hexagonal!y tiled emitter array 210. In hexagonal tiling, each row is shifted 'with respect to the rows above and below It, and therefore for each emitter 212 in a given row, the adjacent emitters 212 in the adjacent rows of emitters are located d iagonally with respect thereto. Fig. 11 il lustrates a hexagonal configu ration of emitter array in accordance with examples of the presently d isclosed subject matter.

[00227] The resu lt of such a configuration are exemplified in Fig. 7. such an alternating activation of different subgroups of emitters 212 may enable system 200 to project onto an object 400' (and onto a background scene wh ich includes in this example a wall denoted 499) a first projection of the structured light pattern (denoted " First projection 11" in diagram 7.1 of Fig. 7) and a second projection of the structured light pattern (denoted "Second projection 22" in diagram 7.2 of Fig. 7). The light pattern created by the light of each light beam 110 is denoted light pattern 140 in the two diagrams of Fig. 7.

[00228] Fi rst projection 11 and second projection 22 of the structured light pattern 150 may be projected onto the scene in different times (for example, diagram 3A illustrates the environment in tirne Tl, and diagram 3B illustrates the environment In time T2 which is later than Tl ). First projection 11 and second projection 22. of the structured light pattern 150 may be projected onto the scene at least partly concurrently, e.g. in a configuration in which the emitters 212 of d ifferent subgroups emits light in different wavelengths.

[00229] As can be seen, the first projection 11 and the second projection 22 of the structured light pattern (which in this case is a coded light pattern which includes alternating zoomorphic graphemes) are rigid ly shifted with respect to one another. As is also demonstrated in Fig. 7, the structured light pattern may appear on different scale, depending on the distance of a lighted object from system 200, and one object may cast a shadow on another object, thereby hiding a part (or the entirety) of another object from system 200 from a given perspective.

[002.30] In the following figures, examples of variations of some of the ways in which optical subunit 22.0 may transform the light of emitter array 210, and some of the benefits of such configurations, are discussed in greater detail.

[00231 ] Fig. 8 is a functional block diagram illustrating an example of optical system 201 in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter. It is noted that system 201 may be implemented with any of the variations of system 200 discussed above. It is however noted that system 201 may incorporate any of the features, components and abilities discussed above with respect to system 200 as general. Furthermore, system 201 may incorporate any of the featu res, components and abilities discussed below with respect to systems 202, 203, 204 and 2.05, The components of system 2.01 are denoted using the same nu meral reference used for the components of system 200, and the variations d iscussed with respect to these components In other parts of the document may also pertain, mutatis mutandis, to system 201.

[00232] In system 201, emitter array 210 includes a plurality of individual emitters 212. Each emitter 212 in the emitter array 210 of system 201 is operable to emit a light beam 110 which is characterized by a native beam width 10. Optical subunit 220 of system 201 is operable to transform a plurality of light beams 110 emitted by the emitter array 210, wherein each of the transformed light beams 130 is characterized by an expanded beam width 30 that is wider than the native beam width 10 of the corresponding light beam 110, and which is wider than a facilitating beam width. DOE 230 in system 201 is capable of diffracting the transformed light beams so as to provide light patterns whose angular resolution meets a l ight pattern target angular resolution criteria.

[00233] System 201 is an optica! system which includes a diffractive optical element (DOE 230), capable of diffracting an incident coherent l ight beam to provide a light pattern , it is noted that while not necessarily so, the resolution of the light pattern provided by the DOE 230 has a positive correlation with a width of the

I ncident light beam. That is. the wider the incident light beam, the finer resolution that the DOE would be able to produce.

[002.34] A facilitating beam width Is hereby defined for DOE 230, so that incidence u pon DOE 2.30 of coherent Iight beams that are wider than the facilitating beam width would result in provision of light patterns whose angular resolution meets a l ight pattern target angular resolution criteria.

[00235] For example, for many practical DOE's the beam width shou ld cover at least 4 periods of the grating structure. So, for example, if we requi re an i nter beam resolution of SmRad at a wavelength of 850nm, the grating period d will be given by d sin 0 - λ , where 0:=6mRad, λ = 850nm. From this d= 0.14mm. Therefore to achieve this angular resolution of 6mRad the beam width at the DOE has to be at least 4 x d = 0.57mm

[00236] Light emitters which emit coherent iight beams that are wider than the facilitating beam width may be created. However, the physical size of such emitters, the heat 'which they produce or the possibility to pack a large number of such light sources into a compact packaging may render utilization of such light emitters impractical for system 201. Therefore, utilization of emitters which emit narrower iight beams is investigated below with respect to system 201.

[00237] System 201 further includes emitter array 210 which includes a plurality of individual emitters. Emitter a rray 210 of system 201 is operable to emit a plurality of coherent Iight beams. Each emitter 212 in emitter array 210 of system 201 is operable to emit a light beam 110 (out of the plurality of Iight beams 110), which is characterized by a native beam Width. For the sake of clarity of illustration, only two light beams 110 are illustrated in Fig. 8.

[00238] The beam diameter or beam width of an electromagnetic beam is the diameter along any specified line that is perpendicular to the beam axis and intersects it. Since beams typically do not have sharp edges, the diameter can be defined in many different ways. Some definitions of beam width which are well accepted in the art Include D4o, 10/90 (or 20/80) knife-edge, l/e2, FVVH M, and D86. It is noted that the native beam width of a light beam 110 emitted by an emitter 212 may be measured at any point between the respective emitter 212 and the point in which that light beam 110 meets the first optical component of optical subunit 220 (e.g. a lens, a mirror, etc.). Such native beam widths are denoted as native widths 20 i n Fig. 8.

[00239] Optical subunit 220 in system 201 (which may be an optica! assembly which includes a plurality of optical elements) Is operable to transform the plurality of light beams 110 to provide a plurality of transformed light beams 130, and to d irect the plurality of transformed light beams 130 onto the diffractive optica! element 230, resulting in providing of a structured !ight pattern 150 (not illustrated) by optica! system 201.

[00240] In system 201, each of the transformed light beams 130 is characterized by an expanded beam width (denoted 30) that is wider than the native beam width 20 of the corresponding l ight beam 110. Furthermore, the expanded beam Widths 30 of the plurality of transformed light beams 130 are larger than the facilitating beam width.

[00241] The expansion of light beams 110 may enable utilizing light sources whose native beam width is below the aforementioned facilitating beam width of DOE 230 (e.g. which in turn may enable, for example, using emitters of smaller dimensions, using emitters which produce relatively less heat, pack a large n umber emitters into a tight volume, and so on).

[00242] Optionally, each emitter 212 in emitter array 210 is operable to emit a l ight beam whose native beam width is narrower than the facilitating beam width. Optionally, each emitter 212 in emitter array 210 is operable to emit a light beam whose native beam width is narrower than the facilitati ng beam width by a factor of at least 2. Optionally, each emitter 212 in emitter array 210 is operable to emit a l ight beam whose native beam width is narrower than the facilitating beam width by a factor of at least 5.

[00243] Optionally, each emitter 212 in emitter array 210 is operable to emit a l ight beam whose native beam width is narrower than the facilitating beam width by at least one order of magnitude.

[002.44] For example, the native beam widths 20 of light beams 110 I n system 201 may be 10-100 micrometer, while the expanded beam widths 30 of the corresponding transformed light beams 130 may be 100-1000 micrometer. Optionally, the expanded beam widths 30 of transformed light beams 130 i n system 201 may be at least 3 times larger than the corresponding native beam widths 20 of the corresponding light beams 110.

[00245] An example of uti lization for the expansion of beams for the miniaturization of system 201 is the ability to pack the emitters 212. For example, optionally for each individual emitter 212 of emitter array 210 there is at least one other individual emitter 212 of the emitter array 210 positioned at a distance which is at least 10 times smaller than any beam-width 30 of any transformed light beam 130 out of the plurality of transformed light beams 130.

[00246] As discussed with respect to system 200, optionally optical subunit 2.20 of system 2.01 is an optica! assembly which includes a plurality of optical elements. Fu rthermore, this plurality of optical element may have a common optical axis common to the plurality of optical elements.

[00247] As d iscussed above (e.g. with respect to Figs. 3A and 3 B), emitter array 210 and optical subunit 220 may be positioned relative to one another such that optical subunit 220 further transforms the plurality of light beams (in addition to expanding the width of the beams) by deflecting the plurality of light beams 110. so that the plurality of transformed light beams 130 are projected onto diffractive optical element 230 at different angles of incidence, resulting in providing of a plurality of l ight patterns 140 by diffractive optica! element 230 (where the structured light pattern 150 includes these plurality of light patterns 140).

[00248] It is noted that in addition to expanding the 'width of the light beams 110, optical subunit 220 may transform the light beams 110 in additional ways, which wou ld contribute to the efficiency and quality of the projection of system 201 even more. For example, optica! subunit 220 may further transform the light beams 110 in order to red uce their divergence (co!!imating the beams).

[002.49] Each emitter 212 In the emitter array 210 is operable to emit a light beam 110 (out of the plurality of light beams 110) wh ich is characterized by a divergence (referred to below as the first beam divergence of the light beam 110 of this emitter 212). Optionally, optical subunit 220 of system 201 is further operable to transform the plurality of light beams 110, so that each of the transformed light beams 130 is characterized by a second beam divergence that is smaller than the first beam d ivergence of the corresponding light beam 110. The reduction of the divergence of the light beams 110 is further investigated with respect to system 202.

[00250] Fig. 9 is a functional block diagram illustrating an example of optical system 202 in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter. It is noted that in further examples, system 202 may be Implemented with any of the variations of system 200 discussed above. It is however noted that system 202 may incorporate any of the features, components and abilities d iscussed above with respect to system 200 as general. Furthermore, system 202 may incorporate any of the features, components and abilities d iscussed below with respect to systems 201, 203, 204 and 205. The components of system 202 are denoted using the same numeral reference used for the components of system 200, and the variations discussed with respect to these components in other parts of the document may also pertain, mutatis mutand is, to system 202.

[00251 ] System 202. is an optical system which includes a diffractive optical element (DOE 230), capable of diffracting an incident coherent l ight beam to provide a light pattern . It is noted that while not necessarily so, the contrast of the light pattern provided by the DOE 230 has a negative correlation with the divergence of the incident light beam. That is, the lesser the divergence of the incident light beam, the better contrast will the DOE be able to produce.

[00252] Light emitters which emit coherent light beams and whose emitted l ight coherent light beams are characterized by relatively low divergence can be created . However, the physical size of such emitters, the heat they produce or the possibility to pack a large number of such light sources into a compact packing may render utilization of such light emitters Impractical for system 202. Therefore, utilization of emitters which emit l ight beams with divergence that is larger than the divergence of the light beams which ultimately reaches the DOE is investigated below with respect to system 202.

[00253] System 202 is an optica! system, which includes at least diffractive optical element 230 (capable of diffracting an incident coherent light beam to provide light pattern 150), emitter array 210 'which includes a plural ity of individual emitters 212, and optical subunit 230.

[00254] As aforementioned, each emitter 212 in emitter array 210 is operable to emit a light beam 110, out of the plurality of light beams 110, which is characterized by a first beam divergence. Such first beam d ivergence is denoted first beam d ivergence 40 in Fig. 9.

[00255] In system 202, emitter array 210 Includes a plurality of Individual emitters 212, Each emitter 212 in emitter array 210 is operable to emit a light beam 110 which is characterized by a first beam d ivergence. Optica! su bunit 220 in system 202 is operable to transform a plurality of light beams 110 emitted by emitter array 210, wherein each of the transformed light beams 130 is characterized by a second beam d ivergence that is smaller than the first beam divergence of the corresponding light beam 110. DOE 230 is capable of diffracting the transformed light beams to provide light patterns.

[00256] Optica! subunit 220 is operable to transform the plurality of light beams 110 to provide a plurality of transformed light beams 130 and to direct the plurality of transformed light beams 130 onto diffractive optica! element 230, to thereby provide structured light pattern 150 by optica! system 2.02. Each of these transformed light beams 130 provided by optica! subunit 220 of system 202 is characterized by a second beam divergence (denoted 50 in Fig. 9) that is smaller than the first beam divergence 40 of the corresponding l ight beam 110.

[00257] Optionally, a facilitating beam d ivergence (9max) is defined for DOE 230 so that incidence upon the DOE 230 of coherent light beams whose divergence is lower than the facilitating beam d ivergence (9beam<9max) results in provisioni ng of light patterns whose contrast meets a light pattern target contrast criteria. In such case, system 202 may be designed so that the second beam divergences 50 of the plurality of transformed light beams 130 in system 202 are lower than the facilitating beam d ivergence (6max). The light beams have to be wider than the facilitating beam width.

[00258] Therefore, transforming the light beams 110 by the optica! subunit 220 of system 202 enables to achieve better contrast compared to a design that does not i nclude the optical unit 220. Also, by transforming the light beams 110, it is possible to utilize emitters 210 which are capable of emitting light beams 110 that are characterized by larger divergence than would otherwise be required, and still receive a structured light pattern with high contrast. Fu rthermore, it is noted that emitters with narrow light beams (whose use for miniaturization etc. is discussed with respect to system 201 above) can also have larger divergence than is possible to ach ieve with emitters that produce wider light beams. Therefore, reducing the d ivergence of l ight beams 110 by optical subun it 220 enables utilizing emitters with d ivergence that is larger than the faci litating beam divergence, and also emitters which emit narrow light beams.

[00259] Optionally, each emitter 212 in emitter array 210 is operable to emit a light beam 110 whose first beam divergence 40 is larger than the facilitating beam divergence (6max) by at least one order of magnitude.

[00260] Optionally, each emitter 212 in emitter array 210 is operable to emit a light beam 110 whose native beam width 20 is narrower than the facilitating beam width by at least one order of magnitude, and whose first beam divergence 40 is larger than the facilitating beam divergence (0max) by at least one order of magnitude.

[00261] Optionally, optical subunit 220 may be operable to reduce a divergence of each light beam 110 out of the plu rality the l ight beams 110 by at least 90% to provide the respective transformed light beam 130.

[00262] For example, the first beam divergences of the light beams 110 emitted by emitter array may be lOOmrad-SOOmrad, while the second beam divergences of the corresponding light beams may be 5mrad-50mrad .

[002.63] As aforementioned, optionally optica! subunit 220 is operable to transform the plurality of light beams 110 to provide the plurality of transformed light beams 130 using transforming optical components of the optical su bunit 2.20 which are common to the plurality of light beams 110.

[00264] As also discussed above, optionally emitter array 210 and optical subunit 220 are positioned relative to one another such that optical su bunit 220 further transform the plurality of light beams 110 by deflecting the plurality of light beams 110 to thereby cause the plurality of transformed light beams 130 to be projected onto d iffractive optica! element 230 at different angles of incidence, resulting in providing of a plurality of light patterns 140 by the diffractive optica! element.

[00265] As aforementioned, packing many individual emitters in a small emitter array may improve the quality of the structured light pattern 150 projected by system 200 in many ways, such as improving its angular resolution, its speckle noise, etc. It may also contribute to the miniaturization of system 200, to lowering the system's 200 energy consumption, etc.

[00266] Fig. 10 is a functional block diagram il lustrating an example of optica! system 203 in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter. It is noted that system 203 may be implemented with any of the variations of system 200 discussed above, it is however noted that system 203 may incorporate any of the features, components and abilities discussed above with respect to system 200 as genera!. Furthermore, system 203 may incorporate any of the featu res, components and abilities discussed be!ow with respect to systems 201, 2.02, 204 and 205. The components of system 203 are denoted using the same nu meral reference used for the components of system 200, and the variations d iscussed with respect to these components in other part of the document may also pertai n, mutatis mutandis, to system 203.

[00267] System 203 includes at least (a) diffractive optica! element 230 wh ich is capable of diffracting an incident coherent light beam to provide a light pattern, (b) emitter array 210 which includes a plurality of i ndividual emitters 212 (the emitter array 210 is operable to emit a plu rality of coherent light beams), and (c) optical subunlt 220.

[002.68] In system 203, emitter array 210 Includes a plurality of Individual emitters 212, Each emitter 212 in the emitter array 210 is operable to emit a light beam 110, Optical subunit 220 in system 203 is operable to:

a. transform a plurality of l ight beams 110 emitted by the emitter array 210, wherein the transformation Includes expansion and/or co!iimation of the pl urality of l ight beams 110; and

b. direct the plurality of transformed light beams onto the diffractive optical element at different angles of incidence, resulting in providing of a plurality of light patterns by the diffractive optical element.

[00269] DOE 230 in system 203 is capable of diffracting the transformed light beams to provide light patterns;

[002.70] Fu rthermore, in emitter array 2.10 of system 2.03, for each individual emitter 2.12 there is at least one other individual emitter 2.12 of emitter array 210 which is positioned at a distance which Is smaller than any beam width 30 of any transformed light beam 130 out of the plurality of transformed light beams 130. The d istance between any two emitters is denoted 60 in Fig. 10.

[00271] As discussed above with respect to system 200, optionally optical subunit 220 is operable to transform the plurality of light beams 110 to provide the plurality of transformed light beams 130 using transforming optical components of optical subunit 220 which are common to the plurality of light beams 110.

[002.72] Figs. 12A through 12G include diagrams which are related to possible d istortions in the light patterns generated by system 2.00, and ways to reduce such d istortion, in accordance with examples of the presently d isclosed subject matter. It is noted that distortion and other problems may occur th roughout the generated l ight pattern, and especial ly at the edge of the field of projection of the light pattern. In the discussion pertaining to Figs. 12A through 12G it is assu med that the light pattern 150 includes a plurality of points, and that structured light pattern 150 is constructed from a plurality of light patterns 140 (as discussed above, e.g. with

respect to Figs. 4A, 4B and 4C. The exemplary light pattern 140 used in the examples of Figs. 12A through 12.G Is designed to include a plurality of regularly spaced points, as exempl ified in Fig. 12A. In the following discussion pertaining to Figs. 12A through 12G, l ight pattern 140 is also referred to as "tile pattern".

[00273] In the present example, the tile pattern 140 at the center of the field wil l form a nearly rectangular shape containing regularly spaced points, whereas at the edge of the field the points of each tile pattern will form a nearly parallelogram shape, as exemplified in Fig. 12 B. The reason for this d istortion of the tile pattern is that for different light beams emitted by different emitters 212 of emitter array 210, the distance of the chief ray of the light beams from the DOE to the object plane is very d ifferent for tile patterns located in different field points. It is noted that the distortion assumes a non-spherical plane on which the structured light pattern 150 is projected. If the object plane was spherical then the distance from DOE 230 to the object on 'wh ich the light pattern is projected would have been the same.

[00274] In the example of Figs. 12A through 12G, the tile pattern includes forty n ine points formed by diffraction through DOE 230. The tile pattern of Fig. l4A is formed using a light beam whose chief ray angle (CRA) is zero. The source light beam i n the example of Fig, 14A Is a simple laser beam parallel to the optical axis. The source light beam in the example of Fig. 12B Is a simple laser beam which propagates towards the DOE diagonally to the optical axis.

[00275] Fig, 12C illustrates a simplified configuration of system 2.00 which was used to generate the light patterns in Figs. 12. E and 12G . For simplicity of illustration, only 18 individual emitters 2 2 and their respective light beams are illustrated in the followi ng examples. As seen in Fig. 12D, out of these 18 emitters 212, 9 emitters 212 are centered about the lens (i.e. are close to the optical axis) and 9 emitters 2 2 are at the edge of the field (remotely from the optical axis). As the light beam emitted by each emitter 212 passes through the DOE 230 (after being transformed by optical subunit 220), it produces its own tile pattern of 49 points. Fig. 12 E Illustrates the projection of the tile patterns generated by the emitters 212 of Fig. 12D on a projection plane that is perpendicular to the optical axis.

[002.76] As can be seen in Fig. 12E, the nine tile patterns 140 which are located near the edge of the 'Held are not rectangular (shaped more like a parallelogram than a rectangle), and the separation between the individual points of each tile pattern is larger than the separation between the points in the nine central tile patterns 140. Fu rthermore, in all of the field, the tile patterns 140 are not adjacent to each other, creating a discontinuity in the structured light pattern.

[00277] As aforementioned, the individual emitters 212 of emitter array 210 may be arranged in a non-regular (or semi-regular) configuration. The configuration of Fig. 12F may be used to correct a discontinuity which results in the example of Figs. 12 D and 12E from the regular distribution of the emitters 212 in emitter array 210.

[00278] As can be seen, the distance between the nine central emitters 212 was reduced, and is significantly smaller than the separation between the ni ne remote emitters 212, near the sides of emitter array 210. Furthermore, the nine remote emitters 212 are not arranged In a rectangular configuration. These nine remote emitters 212 may be arranged on a distorted grid (e.g. a regular XY grid to which pincushion distortion was applied).

[00279] Fig. 12G illustrates structured light pattern 150 which results from the emitters configuration of Fig. 12F. As can be seen, the light patterns 140 in each of the clusters (the central cluster of nine tile patterns and the remote cluster of nine tile patterns) are adjacent to each other, without discontinuities.

[002.80] Generally with respect to system 200, it is noted that the positioning of the i ndividual emitters 212 within emitter array 210 may be selected to reduce d iscontinuity between the light patterns 140 resulting from different emitters 212. Optionally the individual emitters 212 of emitter array 210 are arranged on a radially d istorted regular grid (i.e. on a regular grid on which radial distortion transformation was applied). Different regular grids may be radially distorted for overcoming d iscontinuity- e.g. rectangular grid, hexagonal grid, and so on.

[00281] It is further noted that processing u nit 260 (if implemented) may include algorithms which compensate for such distortion and/or discontinuity of the structured light pattern . It is noted that the arrangement of the individual emitters 212 may depend not on ly on the distortion of the collimator lens, but also on the d istortion of the object space field of view (if known in advance). Notably, for 3D I maging the object space field Is usually not known in advance (with the exception of cal ibration scenes, etc.). The emitter array 210 may be tailored for a particular optics of optical unit 220, any change in the optics would require different emitter array spacing configuration in order to reduce the distortion and the discontinuity.

[00282] Fig. 13 is a functional block diagram il lustrating an example of optical system 204 in accordance with examples of the presently d isclosed subject matter. Diagram 13.1 illustrates system 204 i n a diagonal view, and diagram 13.2 illustrates system 204 in a side view, it is noted that system 204 may be implemented with any of the variations of system 200 discussed above. It Is however noted that system 204 may incorporate any of the features, components and abilities discussed above with respect to system 200 as general. Furthermore, system 204 may incorporate any of the features, components and abilities d iscussed below with respect to systems 201, 202, 203 and 205. The components of system 204 are denoted using the same n umeral reference used for the components of system 200, and the variations d iscussed with respect to these components in other part of the document may also pertain, mutatis mutand is, to system 204.

[00283] System 204 includes at least (a) diffractive optical element 230 wh ich is capable of diffracting an incident coherent light beam to provide a light pattern, (b) emitter array 210 which includes a plurality of I ndividual emitters 212 (the emitter array 210 is operable to emit a plu rality of coherent light beams), and (c) optical subunit 220.

[00284] In system 204, the plurality of individual emitters 212 of emitter array 210 are arranged so as to form a planar emission plane (denoted 111), wherein each emitter in the emitter array is operable to emit a light beam.

[00285] Emission plane 111 is a plane in which the emitting ends of individual emitters 212 are located (as illustrated in both of diagrams 13.1 and 13.2). Emission plane 111 is planar in the sense that all of the emitti ng ends of individual emitters 212 are located on a flat plane.

[002.86] It is noted that an emitter array whose emitters are arranged on a planar emission plane is usually simpler and cheaper to produce than an emitter array whose emitters are arranged on a non-flat emission plane. Furthermore, designing an emitter array characterized by a planar emission plane is simpler and cheaper than designing an emitter array with a non-flat emission plane.

[00287] The present disclosure teaches how to use an optica! subunit 220 so as to enable using an emitter array with a planer emission plane while overcoming various optica! issues. Further discussion is presented above, e.g. with respect to Figs. 12A through 12G .

[00288] Optica! subunit 220 in system 204 is operable to: (a) transform a plurality of light beams emitted by the emitter array, wherein the transformation includes expansion and/or col!!mation of the plurality of light beams; and (b) to direct the plurality of transformed l ight beams onto the dlffractive optica! element at different angles of incidence, resulting in providing of a plural ity of light patterns by the d lffractive optica! element. DOE 230 of system 204 is capable of diffracting the transformed light beams to provide light patterns.

[00289] As d iscussed with respect to system 200, optionally optica! subunit 220 i ncludes a plurality of optica! elements having a common optica! axis common to the plurality of optica! elements.

[00290] As discussed with respect to system 200, optionally optica! subunit 220 is operable to transform the plurality of light beams 110 to provide the plurality of transformed light beams 130 using transforming optica! components, out of the plurality of optica! components, which are common to the plurality of light beams.

[00291 ] As d iscussed with respect to system 200, optionally emitter array 210 and optica! subunit 220 are positioned relative to one another such that optica! subunit 220 further transform the plural ity of light beams 110 by deflecting the plurality of l ight beams 110 so that the plurality of transformed light beams 130 are projected onto DOE 230 at different angles of incidence, resulting in providing of a plurality of l ight patterns by DOE 230.

[002.92] Fig, 14 is a functional block diagram il lustrating an example of optical system 205 in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter. It Is noted that system 205 may be implemented with any of the variations of system 200 discussed above, it is however noted that system 204 may incorporate any of the features, components and abilities discussed above with respect to system 200 as general. Furthermore, system 205 may incorporate any of the featu res, components and abilities discussed below with respect to systems 201, 202, 203 and 204. The components of system 205 are denoted using the same nu meral reference used for the components of system 200, and the variations d iscussed with respect to these components in other part of the document may also pertai n, mutatis mutandis, to system 204.

[00293] System 205 includes at least (a) diffractive optical element 230 wh ich is capable of diffracting an incident coherent light beam to provide a light pattern, (b) emitter array 210 which includes a plurality of I ndividual emitters 212 (the emitter array 210 is operable to emit a plu rality of coherent light beams), and (c) optical subunit 220.

[00294] in system 205, the combination of optical subunit 220 and DOE 230 is characterized by a distortion function. The plu rality of Individual emitters 212 in system 205 are arranged in a non-uniform configuration whose relation to a predefined uniform grid is an inverse fu nction of the distortion function. It is noted that in different systems, the relative amount of distortion caused by the optical subunit 2.2.0 and the DOE 2.30 may vary, and optionally all of the distortion may be caused by DOE 230, without additional d istortion caused by optica! subunit 230. in such case, the distortion function may characterize the DOE 230.

[00295] An example of the distortion function of optica! subu nit 220 is presented i n Figs. 12 D and 12 E. As can be seen, a regular grid of individual emitters 212 in Fig. 12 D is transformed into a non-regular array of illumination . Method 900 in Fig. 25 d iscloses a method which may be used to determine the distortion function, and based on which to determine a non-uniformed configuration wh ich may be used for the individual emitters of system 205.

[002.96] As discussed with respect to system 200, optica! subunit 220 of system 205 may be operable to direct the plurality of transformed light beams onto the diffractive optical element 230 at different angles of incidence, resu lting in providing of a plurality of light patterns by diffractive optical element 230.

[00297] Fig. 15 is a functional block diagram il lustrating an example of optical system 200, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, in Fig. 15 there is presented a possible utilization of the projection of the structured l ight pattern 150 in system 200, for capturing three dimensional (3 D) images. The capturing of 3D images by system 200 is facilitated by determin ing range parameters for objects imaged in different pixels of the image. It is noted that these possible uses are offered by way of a non-limiting example, as many other uses will present themselves to a person who is of skill in the art. Furthermore, while the functionalities of utilizing the projection of system 200 are discussed as being i mplemented by components of the same system 200, it will be clear that such functionalities may also be implemented by an external system and with additional, fewer or other components for utilizing the projection.

[00298] The following discussion relates to a system for managing 3D capture. It will be clear to a person who is of skill in the art that the following discussion is also applicable to methods and computer program products for managing 3 D capture, mutatis mutandis, and that the latter are not discussed in detail for reasons of brevity.

[00299] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, managing the 3 D capture can include managing use of resou rces in a mobile computing device, more particularly, a mobile communication device such as a smartphone, a tablet and/or thei r likes according to predefined rules or criteria, in further examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, managing the 3 D capture can include managing use of one or more 3 D capturing resources in a mobile communication device. Yet further by way of example, managing the 3 D capture can include managing one or more of: power consumption, a memory and/or storage utilization, allocation communication bandwidth consumption, allocation of

processing resources (e.g., CPU cycles) etc. in the following descri ption, by way of non-limiting example for a mobile computing device, reference is typical ly made to a mobile communication device.

[00300] Th roughout the following description, reference is made to the term "3 D capture". The term 3 D capture relates to a technological process which Involves utilizing a plurality of resources of a mobile communication device to obtai n depth or range data (3D data) with respect to a certain scene. Thus, according to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, managing 3 D capture can i nclude managing operation of at least one resource that is involved in the 3D capture or managing operation of at least one software feature of the 3D capture. It wou ld be appreciated that at least in some respects, in some cases, or under certai n conditions modifying the operation of a resource that is involved i n the 3 D capture can affect the operation of at least one software feature of the 3D capture, and vice versa.

[00301] Referring to Fig. 15 (and to system 200 generally), it is noted that system 200 may be Implemented as a mobile communication device, such as a smartphone, a lap-top computer or another hand-held device. As can be seen in Fig. Error! Reference source not found., and by way of example, system 200 may incl ude a various components that are capable of providi ng 3D depth or range data. In the example of Fig. 15 there is shown a configuration of system 200 which includes an active stereo 3 D camera 10, but in further examples of the presently disclosed subject matter other known 3D cameras can be used. Those versed in the art can readily apply the teachings provided in the examples of the presently disclosed subject matter to other 3 D camera configurations and to other 3D captu re-technologies.

[00302] By way of example, the 3 D camera 10 can include: a 3D captu re sensor 12 (which may optionally be part of the aforementioned imaging sensing unit 250 or replace it), a driver 14, a 3 D capture processor 16 (which may optionally be part of the aforementioned processing unit 250 or replace it). System 200 also includes a projection modu le 18, which includes emitter array 210, optical subunit 220 and DOE 230. Optionally, projection module 18 may further include output optics 240.

[00303] in this example, the projection module 18 is configured to project a structured light pattern and the 3 D capture sensor 12. is configu red to capture an I mage which corresponds to the reflected pattern, as reflected from the environment onto which the pattern was projected. US Patent No. 8,090, 194 to Gordon et. al . describes an example structured light pattern that can be used in a projection modu le component of a 3D camera, as well as other aspects of active stereo 3 D capture technology and is hereby incorporated into the present application in its entirety. International Application Publication No. WO2013/144952 describes an example of a possible projection module design (also referred to as "flash design"}, and is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

[00304] By way of example, emitter array 210 which is included i n the projection module 18 may include an ! R light source, such that it is capable of projecting ! R radiation or light, and the 3D capture sensor 12 can be and ! R sensor, that is sensitive to radiation in the I R band, and such that It is capable of capturing the I P, radiation that is returned from the scene. The projection module 18 and the 3D capture sensor 12 are calibrated . According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, the driver 14, the 3D capture processor 16 or any other suitable component of the system 200 can be configured to implement auto-calibration for maintaining the calibration among the projection module 18 and the 3 D capture sensor 12.

[00305] The 3 D capture processor 16 can be configured to perform various processing functions, and to run computer program code which is related to the operation of one or more components of the 3D camera. The 3D capture processor 16 can include memory 17 which is capable of storing the computer program i nstructions that are executed or 'which are to be executed by the processor 16.

[00306] The d river 14 can be configured to implement a computer program wh ich operates or controls certain functions, features or operations that the components of the 3 D camera 10 are capable of carrying out.

[00307] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, system 200 can also include hardware components in addition to the 3D camera 10, I ncluding for example, a power source 20, storage 30, a communication modu le 40, a device processor 40 and memory 60 device i maging hardware 110 a display unit 120 and other user interfaces 130 . it should be noted that in some examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, one or more components of system 200 can be i mplemented as distributed components. In such examples, a certain component can i nclude two or more un its distributed across two or more interconnected nodes. Fu rther by way of example, a computer program, possibly executed by the device processor 40, can be capable of controlling the distributed component and can be capable of operating the resources on each of the two or more interconnected nodes.

[00308] It is known to use various types of power sources in a mobile communication device. The power source 20 can include one or more power source u nits, such as a battery, a short-term high current source (such as a capacitor), a t r i c k I e - c h a r g e r , e t c .

[00309] The device processor 50 can i nclude one or more processing modules which are capable of processing software programs. The processing module can each have one or more processors. In this description, the device processor 50 different types of processor which are implemented in system 200, such as a main processor, an application processor, etc.}. The device processor 50 or any of the processors which are generally referred to herein as being included in the device processor can have one or more cores, internal memory or a cache unit.

[00310] The storage unit 30 can be configured to store computer program code that is necessary for carrying out the operations or functions of system 2.00 and any of its components. The storage unit 30 can also be configured to store one or more applications, including 3D applications 80, which can be executed on system 200. In a d istributed configuration one or more 3D applications 80 can be stored on a remote-computerized device, and can be consumed by system 200 as a service. In addition or as an alternative to application program code, the storage unit 30 can be configured to store data, including for example 3D data that is provided by the 3D camera 10.

[00311] The communication module 40 can be configured to enable data communication to and from the mobile communication device. By way of example, examples of commun ication protocols which can be supported by the communication mod ule 40 include, but are not limited to cellular communication (3G, 4G, etc.), wired communication protocols (such as Local Area Networking (LAN)), and wireless communication protocols, such as Wi-Fi, wireless personal area networking (PAN) such as Bluetooth, etc.

[00312] It should be noted that that according to some examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, some of the components of the 3D camera 10 can be implemented on the mobile communication hardware resources. For example, instead of having a dedicated 3 D capture processor 16, the device processor 50 can be used. Still further by way of example, system 200 can include more than one processor and more than one type of processor, e.g., one or more digital signal processors ( DSP), one or more graphical processing units (G PU ), etc., and the 3D camera can be configured to use a specific one (or a specific set or type) processor(s) from the plurality of device 100 processors.

[00313] System 200 can be configured to run an operating system 70. Examples of mobile device operating systems include but are not limited to: such as Windows Mobile l l ' by M icrosoft Corporation of Redmond, WA, and the Android operating system developed by Google Inc. of Mountain View, CA. It is noted that if system 200 Is not a mobile system, other operating systems may be used (e.g. Windows, Linux, etc.).

[00314] The 3 D application 80 can be any application which uses 3D data. Examples of 3 D applications include a vi rtual tape measu re, 3 D video, 3 D snapshot, 3 D modeli ng, etc. It would be appreciated that d ifferent 3 D applications can have-d ifferent requirements and features. A 3 D application 80 may be assigned to or can be associated with a 3 D application group. In some examples, the device 100 can be capable of running a plurality of 3 D applications 80 in parallel.

[00315] Imaging hardware 110 can include any imaging sensor, In a particular example, an imaging sensor that Is capable of capturing visible light images can be used. According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter,, the imaging hardware 110 can include a sensor, typically a sensor that is sensitive at least to visible light, and possibly also a light source (such as one or more LEDs) for enabling i mage capture in low visible light conditions. According to examples of the presently d isclosed subject matter, the device imaging hardware 110 or some components thereof can be calibrated to the 3D camera 10, and in particular to the 3D capture sensor 12 and to the projection module 18. It would be appreciated that such a cal ibration can enable texturing of the 3D image and various other co-processing operations as will be known to those versed in the art.

[00316] In yet another example, the imaging hardware 110 can include a RG B-I R sensor that is used for capturing visible light images and for capturing I R i mages. Still further by way of example, the RG B-I R sensor can serve as the 3 D capture sensor 12 and as the visible light camera. In this configuration, the d river 14 and the projection module 18 of the 3 D camera, and possibly other components of the device 100, are-configured to operate in cooperation with the imaging hardware 110, and in the example given above, with the RG B-I R sensor, to provide the 3 D depth or range data.

[00317] The d isplay unit 120 can be configured to provide images and graphical data, including a visual rendering of 3D data that was captured by the 3D camera 10, possibly after being processed using the 3D application 80. The user interfaces 130 can include various components which enable the user to interact with system 200, such as speakers, buttons, microphones, etc. The display unit 120 can be a touch sensitive display which also serves as a user interface.

[00318] The 3 D capture processor 16 or the device processor 50 or any subcomponents or CPU cores, etc. of such processing entities can be configured to process a signal that is received from the 3 D capture sensor 12 or from the device i maging hardware 110, in case the device imaging hardware 110 is capable of and is configured to serve the 3 D camera 10. For conven ience, in the following description, the core 3 D capture functions shall be attributed, in a non-l imiting manner, to the 3 D capture processor 16 and to the 3D capture processor 16. However, it would be

appreciated that the functionality and task allocation between the various components and sub components of system 200 are often a design choice.

[00319] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, the 3 D capture processor 16 can be configured to collect imaging data, process the imaging data, analyze the imaging data, produce imaging results, imaging content, and/or imaging display, etc.

[00320] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, the 3 D capture processor 16 can receive as input an I R image and calibration information. By way of example, the calibration information may relate to ! R sensor (as an example of a 3D capture sensor) and projector (such as the projection mod ule 18}. in some examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, the 3D capture processor 16 can also receive as in put a color image, e.g., from the device imaging hardware 110, and a color camera - ! R camera cal ibration information,

[00321] By way of example, the processing that is carried out by the 3 D capture processor 16 can include pre-processing, optical character recognition (OCR), error correction and trianguiation. The pre-processing function can include operations for removing sensor noise and for improving signal quality, e.g., by resolving optical issues, such as speckles. The OCR function translates areas in the image to one of a plurality of code words that were used In the pattern that was projected by the projection modu le 18 and which was captured by the 3 D capture sensor 12. The error correction operation can include computations which use pre-existing knowledge on the projected pattern/code to correct erroneous labeli ng of code words or of features of code words (which can lead to changing of a label of one or more code words). The trianguiation function takes into account the imaging geometry to extract the depth information. An example of a trianguiation procedure that is made with reference to active trianguiation methods is provided in US Patent No. 8,090, 194 to Gordon et al.

[00322] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, the 3 D capture processor 16 can also perform a color projection function, whereby the color from a color sensor (e.g., from the device i maging hardware 110) is projected onto the 3D data. It would be appreciated that the color projection function (as any other function described here with reference to the 3D capture processor 16) can be carried out by the device processor 50 or any processing component thereof.

[00323] Additional processes which may involve processing operations and which can be implemented as part of a 3D data processing pipeline for certain 3D applications can (but not necessarily) i nclude some (e.g., one, two, three, ...) of the followi ng: live system control (e.g., auto gain, auto exposure, control of active source power and pulse du ration, etc.), point cloud registration, cienoising, feature classification, feature tracking, various 3D vision uses, passive camera processing (e.g., pose estimations, shape from motion etc.), inertia! measurement unit (! M U) processing (e.g, kaiman filters), time stamping, ISP functions (dernosaic, gama correction), compression, calibration quality monitoring, etc. It would be appreciated that the above operations can be carried out on the 3 D capture processor 16, on the device processor 50 or on both (the processing tasks can be divided among the various processing resource, either in advance or in real-time).

[00324] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, the 3 D camera 10, after processing of the signal from the sensor 12 and possibly from other sources, can be configured to provide as output one or more of the following: a set of 3 D points, typically with normals (point cloud ), where the normals can be computed using adjacent points; a textured mesh - triangulation (generating polygonal surface) using adjacent; depth map with color map (color projection). Those versed i n the art would appreciate that additional outputs can be provided by the 3D camera 10. As mentioned above, some of the processing attributed in some-examples of the presently disclosed subject matter to the 3D camera 10 and to the 3D capture processor 16 can be carried out outside the 3 D camera 10, and in particular by the device processor 50, and so some of the output which are attributed here to the 3 D camera 10 can be generated outside what is referred to as the 3D camera in the examples shown in FIG. 15 and in the description of FIG . 15 provided herein.

[00325] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, the device processor 50, possibly in cooperation ith the 3 D capture processor 16, can be configured to determi ne or receive data with respect to the state of the resources of the mobile communication system 100. The resources state data can be organized in any suitable form. For example, related or alternative resou rces can be grouped, resou rces which are linked by some tradeoff can be linked, resources whose usage crossed some th reshold can be grouped, etc.

[00326] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter , in addition to the usage state information, the device processor 50 can be configured to obtain or receive, e.g., from the memory 60, additional information which can be useful for determine the usage state of one or more resources of system 200. For example, the device processor 50 can obtain data which relates to expected resou rces usage, for example, as result of scheduled tasks or based on statistics with respect to the device 100 or its resources behavior in terms of resource usage and/or based on statistics with respect to the behavior of applications running on the device i n terms of resource usage. In another example, expected resou rces usage can relate to tasks that are expected to be carried out, either as a result of processes that are already running one the mobile communication device, or for any other reason.

[00327] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, the term "resource availability profile" is used In the description and in the claims to describe the data that is used in the mobi le communication device to describe the current or expected state of one or more resources of the mobile communication device, in particular to describe the state of the resources that are associated with the operation of a 3 D application, or which are expected to be effected by the operation of a 3D application or any of its features.

[00328] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, the device processor 50 can be configured to continuously monitor the state of the resou rces of system 200 and can update to resource availability profile accordingly. In further examples of the presently disclosed subject matter the device processor 50 can be configured to routinely monitor the resources state and u pdate the

resou rce availability profile, where the timing of the update is either determine according to predefined intervals, or is determined based on some input that is received at the device processor. In yet another example, the device processor 50 u pdates to resource availability profile when a certain event occurs, such as an event which effects the availability of at least one resource of the mobile communication device.

[00329] Th roughout the description and in the claims reference is made to the term "3 D application". The term 3 D application as used herein relates to a computer program code that can run as an application on a mobile communication platform (whether hosted locally or whether hosted remotely and consumed as a service on a mobile communication device), and which computer program code embodies at least one feature which uses 3D data, in particular 3 D data that is provided by or obtained from a 3 D camera. Such a feature is termed In the description and in the claims as a 3 D capture feature. Many examples of 3D applications exist in the market and the following are a small sample of which : a virtual tape measure, a room modeli ng environment, 3 D segmentation and model creation, augmented reality games, etc.

[00330] It would be appreciated that a 3D application, or a 3D capture feature of a 3D application can have certain attributes characteristics and requirements. Fu rthermore, in order to enable, support and/or execute different 3 D capture features, different resources (hardware resource but possibly also software resou rces) allocation requirements can exist ( including different levels of a given resou rce), or from another perspective, or according to different Implementations, different 3 D capture features can consume different resou rces (including different levels of a given resource).

[00331] For example, assume a 3 D conferencing application having a full-view feature and a face-only feature, where the full scene featu re involves capturing and processing 3 D data from the entire field of view of the sensor, and the face-only feature involves utilizing only the resources that are requ ired for obtaining 3 D data of an area in the scene where the face of a person facing the 3 D capture sensor is detected. Among the two features, it is highly probable that the full view feature of the 3 D capture application will consume greater processing, memory and power resou rces compared to the face only feature.

[00332] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, a given feature of a given 3 D application 80 can be associated with a particular part of the software program code of the 3 D application. Alternatively or additionally, a feature of a 3D application 80 can be associated with a particular resource, such a particular hardware component or a particular software program code external to 3D application 80 and running on system 200. For example, a featu re of a 3 D application can be associated with an inertial measu rement unit (not shown) of system 200.

[00333] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, for each feature there can be provided a cost measure. The term "cost measure" as used herein and In the claims relates to a measure of a feature's estimated, expected or measured consumption of a given resource or of a resource group, or of one resou rce from a resou rce group, or the measure can be global measure of the feature's resource consumption. In yet further example, the cost measu re can relate to the feature's estimated, expected or measured consu mption of a resource or resou rces at a given mode of the respective 3D capture application.

[00334] By way of example, the cost measure of each feature can include a plurality of measures for a plurality of resou rces. Stil l further by way of example, the cost measure can include measures for alternative resources, and such measures and the resources with which they are associated can be indicated as alternatives. It wou ld be noted that providing such alternative measures can enable preforming various tradeoff computations Including with respect to different configurations of a given feature, and in another example, with respect to implementation of different features in different 3 D applications or in different operational mode of a given (the same) 3 D application.

[00335] Furthermore, it is possible that two or more 3 D applications which are functionally connected to one another would be executed i n system 200, and the relation between the 3 D applications can be indicated, e.g., to the device processor 50, and the device processor 50 can be configured to take into account the relations and cross effect of the related 3D applications of some features thereof when processing a cost measure of a given feature of one of the related 3 D applications, [00336] By way of example the cost measure of a given 3D application feature can be provided as explicit data that is stored as part of the feature program code, or that is otherwise associated with the feature program code. In a further example, the cost measure of a given 3D application feature can be determined (e.g., calculated) based on previous behavior of the feature and of one or more resources which are utilized to enable the feature. In yet further examples, the cost measu re of a given 3 D application feature can be determined based on statistical data, for example, based on the resource consumption of related features, possibly of related 3D applications, and possibly also under similar operating cond itions, on similar mobile communication devices, etc.

[00337] The cost measu re can be provided in various forms. For example, the cost measure can include information related to an amount or level of power (electricity) consu mption, capacity consumption (e.g. consumption of processing power, consu mption of memory, consumption of commun ication bandwidth, etc.). In another example, the cost measure can provide a measure of an aspect of user experience such as Increased or reduced latency, frame rate, accuracy of output, etc.

[00338] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, I n addition to the cost measure of a given feature of a 3 D capture application, a functional measure can be obtained with respect to the feature. The term "functional measure" as used herein relates to an indication provided in respect of the functional value of a 3D capture application feature in respect of which the functional measure is provided. By way of example, the functional value of a feature i ndicates the value, importance or contribution of the featu re to the user experience, in another example, the functional value of a feature indicates the value, importance or contribution of the feature for enabling additional features of the 3D capture application, or the value, importance or contri bution of the feature for enabl ing features of other applications.

[00339] Still further by way of example the functional measure of a given featu re can relate to a specific mode of operation of the respective 3D captu re application, and the functional measure relates to the fu nctional value of the respective feature i n the respective mode of the 3D capture application.

[00340] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, each 3 D application can have at least one mode of operation. According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, a 3D application can include a live-mode. The term "live-mode of a 3D capture application" (or "live-mode" in short) as used in the description and in the claims relates to a mode of the 3 D application in which instant (real time or near real time, e.g., up to 1 second of latency) feedback is provided (e.g.. presented on a display) to a user (h uman or program) of the 3D application. Still further by way of example, the feedback provided in the live mode of the 3D application, possibly together with additional features of the live mode, can faci litate a certain measure of control over the an ongoing capturing process of 3D data. For example, instant feedback which is provided by the mobile communication device in the live mode of a 3D application can enable modification of one or more configurations and/or features or usage of at least one resource of the mobile communication device the modify the results of the ongoing 3 D captu re process. Examples of modification which can be enabled by the live mode include changing an orientation of the 3D imaging components, modifying a level of illumination provided by the projector, changing the type of pattern that is used by the projector, and control over software resources of the mobile communication device, such as modifying a level of gain applied to the incoming signal from the sensor, changing the type of error correction used in the decoding process, etc.

[00341] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, a resou rce of the mobile communication device, as used herein can relate to a component or a su b-component, a firmware routine, or a software program running of the mobile communication device.

[00342] As would be appreciated by those versed In the art, in case a 3 D application also operates at a non-live mode, the hardware and/or software

configuration that is used in the 3 D capture live-mode can have effect on operation of the non-live mode of the 3 D application, and can have an effect on the resources that are used in the non-l ive mode of the 3 D application, i ncluding the level of usage, etc. In another example, the stream of data that is passed on a non-live mode of the 3 D capture, e.g., for further processing can also be influenced by the actual i mplementation of the live-mode of the respective 3D application.

[0Q343] in the present disclosure and in the clai ms, the term "non-live mode of a 3 D application" (or "non-live mode" in short) (e.g., latency is above 1 second or above 2-3 seconds), relates to a mode of operation of a 3 D application, other than a l ive mode. According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, a non-l ive mode of a 3 D application is a mode which does not take place concurrently with the 3D capture operation. Still by way of example, a non-live mode of a 3D application usually involves further utilization of resources, including, for example, f urther processing of the 3 D data. Still further by way of example, the non-live mode can include further processing by the device processor 50 of system 200 or in another example, further processing by external (and remote) resources.

[00344] It wou ld be appreciated that in addition to the live-mode of a given 3 D application several non-live modes can exist, each of which can have different features, or features that have different configurations. By way of example, the modes can differ from one another in the amount of latency, as well as in other characteristics.

[00345] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, a given mode of a 3D application can include at least two features, where the two features are alternative to one another, and wherein In the given mode of the appl ication it is possible to use only one of the two featu res. Further by way of example, each one of the two alternative features can have a different resource consumption.

[00346] According to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, two d ifferent modes of a certain 3D application can have one or more common 3D application features. Further by way of example, a given feature of a 3D application can have a different configuration or different characteristics in different modes of a given 3 D application. It would be noted, a given feature which can have different resou rce consumption characteristics in different configurations of the feature. In case a 3 D application that is subject to the resource management procedure according to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, has identical sets of features across two modes of operation which are used in the resou rce management procedu re, at least one of the features can have a different configuration in each of the two modes of operation.

[00347] In other examples, two different modes of a certain 3D application can have entirely different features (none of the features is common).

[00348] According to a further aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, a 3 D application or given features of a 3 D application can have a local mode and a remote mode. According to examples of the presently disclosed su bject matter, in the local mode of a given feature most, including ail, of the resources wh ich are consu med by the feature of the 3 D application reside locally or are mostly local features of the mobile commu nication device, and in the remote mode of the feature most, including all, of the resources which are consumed by the feature are local on a remote node (are external to the mobi le communication device), e.g, most of the resou rces are in the cloud.

[00349] In one example, the 3D capture processor 16 or the device processor 50 can be configured to determine which feature of a 3D appl ication 80 to use in a given mode of the application, or whether to use a feature of a first mode of the 3 D application or a featu re of a second mode of the 3 D application based on resource availability information relating to an availability or to a state of one or more resou rce of the mobile communication device, such battery power, processing power, memory resou rces, communication bandwidth, availability of remote-processing, etc. Still further by way of example the decision regard ing which feature to use in particular mode can be further based on one or more hardware cost parameters which are associated with the feature.

[00350] Fig. 16 is a block diagram illustration of a system according to examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, incl uding support for a remote mode of a 3D capture application feature. As can be seen in Fig. 16, the system 900 includes a cloud platform 910, which includes resources that enable remote implementation of some or all of the process which are associated with a given feature of a 3D capture application.

[00351] Fig. 17 is a flow chart illustrating an example of method 500, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter. Method 500 is a method for projection . It is noted that method 500 may be implemented by a system such as systems 200, 201, 202, 203, 204 and 205, and that any variation and optional i mplementation which was discussed with respect to any one of systems 200, 201, 202, 203, 204 and 205 may also be Implemented as part of method 500, mutatis mutandis.

[00352] Stage 510 of method 500 includes emitting a plurality of light beams. Optionally, the plurality of light beams is emitted by a pl urality of individual emitters, each of the plurality of individual emitters emitting one of the plu rality of light beams. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous d rawings, stage 510 may be implemented by emitters 212. it is noted that emitters which are used for the emitting of stage 510 may be included in a si ngle emitters array (e.g. encased as a single unit, e.g. havi ng a united power supply), but this is not necessarily so.

[00353] As aforementioned with respect to emitters 2.12, each emitter which Is used for the emitting of stage 510 may be a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) emitter, but this is not necessarily so, and other type of emitters (and especially other laser emitters) may be used.

[00354] Stage 520 of method 500 includes transforming the plural ity of light beams. Stage 520 Includes at least one of stages 521 of expanding the plurality of l ight beams, and/or stage 522 of col!imating of the plurality of light beams. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, stage 520 may be i mplemented by optical subunit 220. As aforementioned with respect to optica! subunit 220, the optica! subunit used for the transforming may include a plurality of optica! elements having a common optica! axis common to the plurality of optica!

elements. The common optical axis may be folded once or more, but this is not necessarily so.

[00355] Stage 540 of method 500 includes diffracting the transformed light beams by a diffractive optical element ( DOE) to provide light patterns. Stage 540 may i nclude diffracting the transformed light beams by the DOE to provide a structured l ight pattern which includes the light pattern provided by diffraction of each of the transformed light beams. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, stage 540 may be impiernented by DOE 230.

[00356] Stage 540 may be preceded by stage 530 of directing the transformed light beams toward the DOE. Stage 530 is illustrated, for example, in Fig. 18. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, stage 530 may be implemented by optica! subunit 220.

[00357] Optionally, stage 520 of transforming may be executed by a telecentric optica! subunit. Optionally, the transforming of stage 520 may be executed by an optica! subunit, wherein the emitting is executed by a plu rality of individual emitters which are positioned on a focal plane of the optical subunit.

[00358] Optionally, the method may include transforming the plurality of light beams which propagates in substantially parallel paths to an optical subunit which executes the transformi ng. Optionally, these parallel paths may be common to an optica! axis of the optical subunit.

[00359] Fig. 18 is a flow chart illustrating an example of method 500, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, it is noted that not all of the stages which are illustrated i n Fig. 18 should necessarily be implemented together, and that any combination of any of the optional stages may be implemented.

[00360] Optionally, stage 510 may include stage 511 of emitting the plurality of light beams by an emitter array including a plurality of emitters wh ich are arranged in non-uniform spacing between the emitters (i .e. in spaces wh ich differ in dimension, e.g. depending on the distance of an individual emitter from the optical axis). This may be used to improve the tiling between the projected light patterns, e.g. as discussed with respect to Figs. 12A-12G .

[00361] Referring to stage 540 of diffracting the transformed light beams, it is noted that optionally, the plurality of light patterns provided by the diffractive optical element are copies of a predetermined light pattern. In other words, stage 540 may i nclude stage 541 of diffracting each of the transformed light beams to provide a plurality of light patterns which are copies of a predetermined light pattern. Optionally, stage 541 may include diffracting each of the light patterns by the DOE to provide a copy of the predetermined pattern.

[00362] While not necessary so, the copies of the predetermined light pattern (if i mplemented) may be adjacent to each other. This may be used for til ing an area whose size is much larger (e.g. at least 50 times larger) than a size of any of the projected copies of the predetermined light pattern. This way, a relatively simple DOE (which is cheaper to design and to manufactu re) which is designed to diffract an i ncident coherent light beam to provide a relatively simple light pattern - may be used to generate much larger and more complex or intricate structured light pattern, e.g. as demonstrated (in small scale, only 6 times larger) i n Fig. 4A. Stage 541 may i nclude stage 542 of diffracting the transformed light beams to provide a plurality of copies of a predetermined light pattern which are adjacent to each other.

[00363] Optionally, generating of the plurality of copies of the predetermined light pattern according to method 500 (e.g. using a si ngle DOE) facilitates projection of a h igh contrast and high clarity overal l output pattern of the optical system.

[00364] It is noted that stage 540 may include stage 543 of diffracting the transformed light beams to provide light patterns which partly overlap each other. The partly overlapping l ight patterns may be copies of the predetermined light pattern (In which case each provided copy of the predetermined light pattern partly overlaps at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern), but this is not necessarily so. Each of the partly overlapping light patterns may be d iffracted from a light beam arriving from a single emitter, but this is not necessarily so.

[00365] Optionally, if stage 543 is implemented, the predetermined l ight pattern may include multiple copies of a repeated subpattern, wherein In each provided

copy of the predetermined light pattern at least one subpattern overlaps a subpattern of at least one other provided copy of the predetermined light pattern generated by light originating from another light emitter. Fu rther discussion is provided with respect to Fig. AC.

[00366] Optionally, stage 510 of emitting the plurality of light beams may include stage 511 of controlling activation of different subgroups of emitters at different times, thereby resulting in providing of offset overall output patterns of the optical system at different times. Optionally, the light patterns provided by diffracting the light of each of the light emitters in each of the subgroups may be copies of the predetermined light pattern, but this is not necessarily so.

[00367] With respect to the emitting of stage 510, it is noted that the emitting may be executed by an emitter array which is dense with individual emitters of coherent l ight beams, thereby enabling spatially efficient providing of a h igh energy structured l ight pattern.

[00368] With respect to stage 510, optionally, the emitter array may i nclude a plurality of individual emitters arranged so as to form a planar emission plane. That is, optionally, stage 510 of emitting the pl urality of light beams may include emitting the plurality of light beams by an emitter array which include a plurality of individual emitters arranged so as to form a planar emission plane. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, such an emitter as discussed with respect to Fig. 13, and all of the discussion which pertains to Fig. 13 is applicable to such a variation of stage 510, mutatis mutandis.

[00369] Referring to method 500 as a whole, a combination of (a) the optical subunit used in stage 520 and (b) the diffractive optical element used in stage 540 is characterized by a distortion function. Optionally, the emitter a rray used for the emitting of stage 510 may include a plurality of individ ual emitters which are arranged in a non-uniform configuration whose relation to a predefined u niform grid is an inverse function of the distortion function . That is, stage 510 may include emitting the plurality of light beams by an emitter array which includes a plurality of I ndividual emitters which are arranged in a non-uniform configuration whose relation to a predefined uniform grid is an i nverse function of the distortion f unction, [00370] An example of the distortion function of optical subu nlt 2.20 is presented i n Figs. 12 D and 12 E, As can be seen, a regular grid of individual emitters 212 in Fig, 12 D is transformed into a non -regular array of illumination . Method 900 in Fig. 25 d iscloses a method which may be used to determine the distortion function, and based on which to determine a non-uniforrned configuration wh ich may be used for the individual emitters of system 205.

[00371] Fig. 19 is a flow chart illustrating an example of method 600, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter,

[00372] It is noted that method 600 may incorporate any of the stages and variations discussed above with respect to method 500 as general. Furthermore, method 600 may Incorporate any of the stages and variations discussed below with respect to method 700 and to method 800. The stages of method 600 are denoted using the similar numeral reference used for the stages of method 500, i ncreased by 00 (e.g. stage 610 Is comparable to stage 510, and so on), and the variations d iscussed with respect to these stages in other parts of the document may also pertain, mutatis mutand is, to method 600. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, method 600 may be implemented by system 201.

[00373] Stage 610 of method 600 includes emitting a plurality of light beams. Each of the plurality of light beams emitted in stage 610 is characterized by a native beam width.

[00374] Stage 620 includes transforming the plural ity of light beams so that each of the transformed light beams is characterized by an expanded beam width that is wider than the native beam width of the corresponding light beam and is wider than a facilitating beam 'width. Referring to the exa mples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, stage 620 may be implemented by optical su bunit 220.

[00375] Stage 640 includes diffracting the transformed light beams by a diffractive optical element (DOE) to provide light patterns whose angular resolution meets a

l ight pattern target angular resolution criteria. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, stage 640 may be implemented by DOE 230.

[00376] Referring to stage 610, optionally the emitting of stage 610 may i nclude emitting the plurality of light beams whose native beam widths are narrower than the facilitating beam width by at least one order of magnitude.

[00377] Fig. 20 is a flow chart illustrating an example of method 600, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, it is noted that not all of the stages which are illustrated in Fig. 20 should necessarily be implemented together, and that any combination of any of the optional stages may be implemented.

[00378] Method 600 may include stage 630 of directing the transformed light beams toward the DOE. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, stage 630 may be implemented by optical su blimit 220.

[00379] Stage 630 may include stage 631 of deflecting (by refraction or otherwise) the plurality of light beams and projecting the plurality of transformed light beams onto the diffractive optical element at different angles of incidence. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, stage 630 may be i mplemented by optical subunit 220.

[00380] Stage 640 which follows stage 630 (if implemented) includes providing a plurality of light patterns by the diffractive optical element, and providing a structured light pattern which includes the plurality of light patterns.

[00381] Optionally, stage 620 may include reducing beam divergence of the light beam. For example, if each light beam out of the plurality of light beams is characterized by a first beam divergence of that beam, stage 620 may include stage 621 of transforming the plurality of light beams so that each of the transformed light beams is characterized by a second beam divergence that is smaller than the first beam divergence of the corresponding light beam.

[00382] Optionally, stage 620 may include stage 621 of transforming the plurality of light beams so that the expanded beam widths of each of the plurality of transformed light beams is at least 3 times larger than the native beam width of the corresponding light beams.

[00383] Fig, 21 is a flow chart illustrating an example of method 700, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter. It is noted that method 700 may Incorporate any of the stages and variations d iscussed above with respect to method 500 as general. Furthermore, method 700 may Incorporate any of the stages and variations discussed below with respect to method 600 and to method 800. The stages of method 700 are denoted using the simi lar numeral reference used for the stages of method 500, increased by 100 (e.g. stage 710 is comparable to stage 510, and so on), and the variations discussed with respect to these stages in other parts of the document may also pertain, mutatis mutandis, to method 700. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, method 700 may be i mplemented by system 202.

[00384] Stage 710 of method 700 includes emitting a plu rality of light beams. Each of the l ight beams emitted in stage 710 is characterized by a first beam divergence of that beam. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous d rawings, stage 710 may be implemented by emitter array 210.

[00385] Stage 720 of method 700 includes transforming the plural ity of light beams so that each of the transformed light beams is characterized by a second beam divergence that is smaller than the first beam divergence of the corresponding l ight beam. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous d rawings, stage 720 may be implemented by optical subu nit 220.

[00386] Optionally, the transforming may be executed by an optical subunit which is an optical assembly Including a plurality of optical elements having a common optical axis common to the plurality of optical elements.

[00387] Optionally, the transforming may be executed by an optica! subunit which is operable to transform the plurality of light beams to provide the plurality of transformed light beams using transforming optical components (included in the optica! subunit) which are common to the plurality of light beams.

[00388] Stage 740 of method 700 includes diffracting the transformed light beams by a diffractive optical element (DOE) to provide light patterns.

[00389] With respect to method 700, it is noted that a facilitating beam divergence may be defined for the DOE (used In stage 740), so that Incidence upon the DOE of coherent light beams whose divergence is lower than the facilitating beam divergence result in provision of light patterns whose contrast meets a light pattern target contrast criteria.

[00390] The transforming and the diffracti ng of the light beam in method 700 may be implemented so that the second beam divergences of the plurality of transformed light beams are lower than the facilitating beam divergence.

[00391] Fig. 22 is a flow chart illustrating an example of method 700, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter. It is noted that not all of the stages which are illustrated I n Fig. 22 should necessarily be implemented together, and that any combination of any of the optional stages may be implemented.

[00392] Stage 710 may Include stage 711 of emitting the plurality of light beams so that the first beam divergence of any of the emitted light beams is larger than the facilitating beam divergence by at least one order of magnitude.

[00393] Method 700 may include stage 730 of directing the transformed light beams toward the DOE. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, stage 730 may be implemented by optical su bunit 220. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, stage 730 may be implemented by optical subunit 220.

[00394] Stage 730 may include stage 731 of deflecting (by refraction or otherwise) the plurality of light beams and projecting the plurality of transformed light beams onto the diffractive optical element at different angles of incidence. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, stage 730 may be implemented by optica! subunit 220.

[00395] Fig. 23 is a flow chart illustrating an example of method 800, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter, it is noted that method 800 may incorporate any of the stages and variations d iscussed above with respect to method 500 as general. Furthermore, method 800 may incorporate any of the stages and variations discussed below with respect to method 600 and to method 700. The

stages of method 800 are denoted using the simi lar numeral reference used for the stages of method 500, increased by 100 (e.g. stage 810 Is comparable to stage 510, and so on), and the variations discussed with respect to these stages in other parts of the document may also pertain, mutatis mutandis, to method 800. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, method 800 may be i mplemented by system 203.

[00396] Stage 810 of method 800 includes emitting a plurality of light beams. Referri ng to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, stage 810 may be implemented by emitter array 210.

[00397] Stage 820 of method 800 includes transforming the plurality of light beams. Stage 820 includes at least on of stages 821 of expanding the plu rality of light beams, and/or stage 822 of collimating of the plurality of light beams. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, stage 82.0 may be I mplemented by optica! subunit 220. As aforementioned with respect to optical subunlt 220, the optical subunit used for the transforming may include a plurality of optica! elements having a common optica! axis common to the plurality of optica! elements. The common optica! axis may be folded once or more, but this is not necessarily so.

[00398] Stage 830 of method 800 includes directing the plurality of transformed l ight beams onto a diffractive optica! element at different angles of incidence. Referri ng to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, stage 830 may be implemented by optica! subunit 220, It is noted that the directing of stage 830 may be done by the same optica! components used for executing stage 820 of transforming the plurality of light beams, or at least partly by other optica! components.

[00399] Stage 840 of method 800 includes diffracting the plurality of transformed l ight beams by the diffractive optica! element (DOE) to provide a plu ral ity of light patterns.

[00400] Stage 840 of emitting includes stage 841 of emitting the plurality of light beams by a plurality of individual emitters which are positioned so that for each of the individual emitters there is at least one other individual emitter positioned at a d istance which is smaller than any beam width of any transformed light beam out of the plurality of transformed light beams,

[00401 ] Fig. 24 is a flow chart illustrating an example of method 500, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter. It is noted that stages 550, 560, 570 and 580 discussed below may be also included as part of methods 600, 700 and 800 (following stages 640, 740 and 840, respectively).

[00402] Method 500 may further include stage 550 of projecting onto one or more objects at least a part of a structured light pattern which includes the plurality of l ight patterns. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous d rawings, the projecting of stage 550 may be executed directly by the DOE (e.g. DOE 230). or by dedicated projecting optics (such as projecting optics 240).

[00403] Method 500 may further include stage 560 of capturing an image of the object with the structured light pattern projected thereon. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, stage 560 may be Implemented by I maging sensing unit 250.

[00404] Stage 560 may be fol lowed by stage 570 of processing the image to determine range parameters. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, stage 570 may be implemented by processing u nit 260.

[00405] Optionally, stage 570 may be followed by stage 580 of generating a 3D I mage of a scene which includes at least part of the object which is illuminated with the structured light pattern. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, the description of Fig. 15 may be applied, mutatis mutandis, to the process of stage 580.

[00406] Fig. 25 is a flow chart illustrating an example of method 900, in accordance with examples of the presently disclosed subject matter. Method 900 may be used for determining an emitters layout. It Is noted that method 900 may be usede to determine an emitters layout for the emitter array of a system such as systems 200, 201, 202, 203, 204 and 205, and that any variation and optional implementation which was discussed with respect to any one of systems 200, 201, 202, 203, 204 and 205 may apply to the various stages of method 900, mutatis mutandis, where applicable,

[00407] Stage 910 of method 900 includes obtaining optica! characteristics of a DOE positioned at a given distance from a light source. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, the DOE may be DOE 230, and the light source may be emitter array 210.

[00408] Various kinds of optical characteristics may be obtained in various i mplementations of stage 910. Some examples of optical characteristics which may be obtained in stage 910 are: diffraction parameters of various areas on the DOE, size of the DOE, materia! of the DOE, shape of the DOE, and so on.

[00409] The obtaining of stage 910 may be executed in various ways. For example, stage 910 may include retrieving the optical characteristics from a database. For example, stage 910 may include retrieving the optical characteristics from a tangible data storage medium (e.g. a compact disk, a hard-drive, a magnetic tape, a random-access memory, and so on). For example, stage 910 may include obtaining the optica! characteristics by measuring and/or otherwise examining the DOE. Other ways of obtaining the optica! characteristics may also be implemented .

[00410] Stage 920 of method 900 includes obtaining data in respect of a provisional light beams emission layout through the DOE.

[00411] Various kinds of data in respect of a provisional light beams emission layout may be obtained in various implementations of stage 910. Some examples of data in respect of a provisional light beams emission layout wh ich may be obtained i n stage 920 are: distortion function of the DOE; distortion function of a combination of the DOE and connected optics (e.g. optica! subunit 220 of system 220); design of the DOE, ray tracing simulation of light passing through the DOE, experi mental result of light of the light source propagation through the DOE, and so on.

[00412] The obtaining of stage 920 may be executed in various ways. For example, stage 920 may include retrieving the data in respect of a provisional light beams emission layout from a database. For example, stage 920 may include retrieving the data in respect of a provisional light beams emission layout from a tangible data storage medium (e.g. a compact disk, a hard-drive, a magnetic tape, a random-access memory, and so on). For example, stage 920 may include obtaining the data I n respect of a provisional light beams emission layout by simu lating light propagation through the DOE. For example, stage 920 may include obtaining the data in respect of a provisional light beams emission layout by emitting light from a l ight source through the DOE and measuring light propagation through the DOE. Other ways of obtaining the optical characteristics may also be implemented.

[00413] Stage 930 of method 900 includes obtaining a target emission layout. Referri ng to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, the target emission layout may be structured light pattern 150. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, the target emission layout may be light pattern 140.

[00414] The obtaining of stage 930 may be executed in various ways. For example, stage 930 may include retrieving the target emission layout from a database. For example, stage 930 may include retrieving the target emission layout from a tangible data storage medium (e.g. a compact disk, a hard-drive, a magnetic tape, a random-access memory, and so on).

[00415] Stage 940 of method 900 includes determining an emitters layout based on the target emission layout and based on the provisional l ight beams emission layout. Referring to the examples set forth with respect to the previous drawings, the emitters layout determi ned in stage 940 may be an emitter layout accordi ng to which Individual emitters 212 of emitter array 210 are arranged.

[00416] The determining of the emitters layout may include determining a 2D emitters layout (e.g. if a planar emission plane is used), and may also include determining a 3D emitters layout.

[00417] Optionally, stage 940 may include determining the emitters layout, such that light emitted by a light source positioned at the given distance from the DOE and having a plurality of emitters arranged according to the emitters layout is d iffracted through the DOE is characterized by a layout (e.g. structured l ight, also referred below as the result structured light) that meets a target emission criterion that is based on the target emission layout.

[00418] For example, the target emission criterion (which may be a predefined criterion) may be that intensity differences between the intensity of the result structured light and the target emission layout at any point of the result structured l ight are below a certai n (e.g. predefined) threshold, such as a certain percentage (say 90% or above. For example, the target emission criterion may be that the average intensity differences between the intensity of the result structured light and the target emission layout for the entire result structu red light is below a certain (e.g. predefined) threshold, such as a certain percentage (say 90% or above).

[00419] Wh ile certain features of the invention have been illustrated and described herein, many modifications, substitutions, changes, and equivalents will now occur to those of ordinary skill in the art. It is, therefore, to be understood that the appended claims are Intended to cover ail such modifications and changes as fall within the true spirit of the invention.

[00420] it will be appreciated that the embodi ments described above are cited by way of example, and various features thereof and combinations of these features can be varied and modified.

[00421] While various embodi ments have been shown and described, it will be u nderstood that there is no intent to limit the invention by such disclosure, but rather, it is intended to cover all modifications and alternate constructions failing within the scope of the Invention, as defined in the appended claims.