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1. (WO2019043052) TIME-OF-FLIGHT DEPTH CAMERA WITH LOW RESOLUTION PIXEL IMAGING
Nota: Texto obtenido mediante procedimiento automático de reconocimiento óptico de caracteres.
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CLAIMS:

1. A time-of- flight depth camera (200) comprising a VCSEL array (100), an optical arrangement (210), an evaluator (255) and a light detector (220) comprising at least one detector pixel (222), wherein the VCSEL array (100) or the optical arrangement (210) are arranged to provide different illumination patterns (20) in a reference plane in a defined field-of-view (300) of the time-of- flight depth camera (200), wherein the light detector (220) is arranged to detect the different illumination patterns (20), wherein the evaluator (255) is arranged to reconstruct a depth image (50) of the field of view (300) with a resolution of a predefined number of pixels P based on the detected different illumination patterns (20), wherein a number of the detected different illumination patterns (20) N is at least 5% of the predefined number of pixels P, preferably at least 10% of the predefined number of pixels and most preferred at least 20% of the predefined number of pixels P, wherein the VCSEL array (100) is an addressable VCSEL array, wherein the VCSEL array (100) is arranged to provide different illumination patterns (20) by addressing different VCSELs (130) of the VCSEL array (100), wherein the optical arrangement (210) comprises a replicating optical structure (216), wherein the replicating optical structure is arranged to replicate a light pattern provided by the VCSEL array (100) across the illumination pattern (20) such that the illumination pattern (20) consists of two, three, four or more sub-illumination patterns, wherein the detector (220) is arranged such that each detector pixel (222) detects a corresponding sub-illumination pattern.

2. The time-of- flight depth camera (200) according to claim 1, wherein the different illumination patterns (20) are pseudo random illumination patterns.

3. The time-of- flight depth camera (200) according to claim 1, wherein the VCSELs (130) of the VCSEL array (100) are arranged in a random pattern such that the number of different illumination patterns (20) provided by the VCSEL array (100) is increased.

4. A time-of- flight depth camera (200) comprising a VCSEL array (100), an optical arrangement (210), an evaluator (255) and a light detector (220) comprising at least one detector pixel (222), wherein the VCSEL array (100) or the optical arrangement (210) are arranged to provide different illumination patterns (20) in a reference plane in a defined field-of-view (300) of the time-of- flight depth camera (200), wherein the light detector (220) is arranged to detect the different illumination patterns (20), wherein the evaluator (255) is arranged to reconstruct a depth image (50) of the field of view (300) with a resolution of a predefined number of pixels P based on the detected different illumination patterns (20), wherein a number of the detected different illumination patterns (20) N is at least 5% of the predefined number of pixels P, preferably at least 10% of the predefined number of pixels and most preferred at least 20% of the predefined number of pixels P, wherein the VCSEL array (100) is an addressable VCSEL array, wherein the VCSEL array (100) is arranged to provide different illumination patterns (20) by addressing different VCSELs (130) of the VCSEL array (100), wherein the optical arrangement (210) comprises a replicating optical structure (216),, wherein the optical arrangement (210) is arranged to provide different illumination patterns (20) by changing an optical property of the optical arrangement (210).

5. The time-of- flight depth camera (200) according to claim 4, wherein the number of detected different illumination patterns (20) N is determined by a number of detector pixels (222) D and the number of provided different illumination patterns (20), wherein the number of provided different illumination patterns (20) is given by a product V*0 of a number of different illumination patterns (20) provided by the addressable VCSEL array V and a number of different illumination patterns (20) provided by optical arrangement (210) O, wherein V is chosen between 4 and 0.7*N, preferably between 10 and 0.5 N and most preferably between 50 and Integer(square root(N))+l , and wherein O is chosen between 2 and 0.7*N, preferably between 10 and 0.5 N and most preferably between 50 and

Integer(square root(N))+l .

6. The time-of- flight depth camera (200) according to claim 4 or 5, wherein the optical arrangement (210) comprises a first optical element (212) and a second element (214), and wherein the optical arrangement (210) is arranged to change a spatial relationship between the first optical element (212) and the second optical element (214).

7. The time-of- flight depth camera (200) according to claim 6, wherein the first optical element (212) is a first diffractive optical element, and wherein the second optical element (214) is a second diffractive optical element.

8. The time-of- flight depth camera (200) according to claim 4 or 5, wherein the optical arrangement (210) comprises a spatial light modulator or a micromirror device for providing the different illumination patterns (20).

9. The time-of- flight depth camera (200) according to anyone of claims 4-8, wherein the light detector (220) comprises less than 10 detector pixels (222), more preferably less than 5 detector pixels (222) and most preferably one detector pixel (222).

10. The time-of- flight depth camera (200) according to anyone of the preceding claims, wherein the number of detected different illumination patterns N is less than the predefined number of pixels P, preferably less than 50% of the predefined number of pixels P, and most preferably less than 40% of the predefined number of pixels P.

11. A method of providing a depth image (50) from a defined field of view (300) with a resolution of a predefined number of pixels P, the method comprising the steps of:

changing an optical interaction between a VCSEL array (100) and an optical arrangement (210), wherein the VCSEL array (100) is an addressable VCSEL array,

providing a number of different illumination patterns (20) by changing the optical interaction,

detecting the different illumination patterns (20), wherein the number of detected different illumination patterns (20) N is at least 5% of the predefined number of pixels P, preferably at least 10% of the predefined number of pixels P and most preferred at least 20% of the predefined number of pixels P in a reference plane in the defined field-of-view (300),

reconstructing the depth image (50) of the field of view (300) based on the detected different illumination patterns (20),

providing different illumination patterns (20) by addressing different VCSELs (130) of the addressable VCSEL array,

replicating by means of a replicating optical structure (216) comprised by the optical arrangement (210) a light pattern provided by the addressable VCSEL array (100)

across the illumination pattern (20) such that the illumination pattern (20) consists of two, three, four or more sub-illumination patterns, a

detecting by each detector pixels (222) a corresponding sub-illumination pattern.

12. A method of providing a depth image (50) from a defined field of view (300) with a resolution of a predefined number of pixels P, the method comprising the steps of:

changing an optical interaction between a VCSEL array (100) and an optical arrangement (210), wherein the VCSEL array (100) is an addressable VCSEL array,

providing a number of different illumination patterns (20) by changing the optical interaction,

detecting the different illumination patterns (20), wherein the number of detected different illumination patterns (20) N is at least 5% of the predefined number of pixels P, preferably at least 10% of the predefined number of pixels P and most preferred at least 20% of the predefined number of pixels P in a reference plane in the defined field-of-view (300),

reconstructing the depth image (50) of the field of view (300) based on the detected different illumination patterns (20),

providing different illumination patterns (20) by addressing different VCSELs (130) of the addressable VCSEL array, and

providing different illumination patterns (20) by changing an optical property of the optical arrangement (210).

13. A computer program product comprising code means which can be saved on at least one memory device comprised by the time-of- flight depth camera (200) according to any one of claims 1-10 or on at least one memory device of a device comprising the time-of-flight depth camera (200), wherein the code means are arranged such that the method according to claim 11 or 12 can be executed by means of at least one processing device comprised by the time-of- flight depth camera (200) or by means of at least one processing device of the device comprising the time-of- flight depth camera (200).