SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR DISPARITY ESTIMATION USING CAMERAS WITH DIFFERENT FIELDS OF VIEW
1. An electronic device, comprising:
- a first camera with a first field of view (FOV);
a second camera with a second FOV that is narrower than the first FOV; and
a processor configured to;
capture a first image with the first camera, the first image having a union FOV;
capture a second image with the second camera,determine an overlapping FOV between the first image and the second image;
generate a disparity estimate based on the overlapping FOV;
generate a union FOV disparity estimate; and
merge the union FOV disparity estimate with the overlapping FOV disparity estimate.
An electronic device and method are herein disclosed. The electronic device includes a first camera with a first field of view (FOV), a second camera with a second FOV that is narrower than the first FOV, and a processor configured to capture a first image with the first camera, the first image having a union FOV, capture a second image with the second camera, determine an overlapping FOV between the first image and the second image, generate a disparity estimate based on the overlapping FOV, generate a union FOV disparity estimate, and merge the union FOV disparity estimate with the overlapping FOV disparity estimate.
- 1. An electronic device, comprising:
a first camera with a first field of view (FOV); a second camera with a second FOV that is narrower than the first FOV; and a processor configured to; capture a first image with the first camera, the first image having a union FOV; capture a second image with the second camera, determine an overlapping FOV between the first image and the second image; generate a disparity estimate based on the overlapping FOV; generate a union FOV disparity estimate; and merge the union FOV disparity estimate with the overlapping FOV disparity estimate.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
- 11. A method, comprising:
capturing a first image with a first camera having a first field of view (FOV), the first image having a union FOV; capturing a second image with a second camera having a second FOV that is narrower than the first FOV determining an overlapping FOV between the first image and the second image; generating a disparity estimate based on the overlapping FOV; generating a union FOV disparity estimate; and merging the union FOV disparity estimate with the overlapping FOV disparity estimate.
- View Dependent Claims (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)
This application is based on and claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) to a U.S. Provisional Patent Application filed on Oct. 29, 2018 in the United States Patent and Trademark Office and assigned Ser. No. 62/751,960, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
The present disclosure relates generally to an image processing system. In particular, the present disclosure relates to a method and system for disparity estimation using cameras with different fields of view.
There is recent interest in the estimation of the real world depth of elements in a captured scene. Depth estimation has many applications, such as the capability of separating the foreground (close) objects from the background (far) objects. Accurate depth estimation allows separation of the foreground objects of interest from the background in a scene. Accurate foreground-background separation allows processing of the captured images to emulate effects such as the Bokeh effect. Bokeh is the soft out-of-focus blur of the background which is typically mastered by using the right settings in expensive cameras with fast lenses and wide apertures, as well as making the cameras closer to the subject and the subject further away from the background to emulate the shallow depth-of-field.
Accurate depth estimation allows processing of images from non-professional photographers or cameras with smaller lenses (such as mobile phone cameras) to obtain more aesthetically pleasant images with the Bokeh effect which focuses on the subject. Other applications of accurate depth estimation include 3D object reconstruction and virtual reality (VR) applications (in VR applications, it is desired to change the background or the subject and render them according the desired VR). Other applications of accurate depth estimation from the captured scene include car automation, surveillance cameras, self-driving applications, and enhanced safety by improving the object detection accuracy and estimation of distance from the camera using the camera only, or from camera input as well as depth estimation from multiple sensors.
According to one embodiment, an electronic device is provided. The electronic device includes a first camera with a first field of view (FOV), a second camera with a second FOV that is narrower than the first FOV, and a processor configured to capture a first image with the first camera, the first image having a union FOV, capture a second image with the second camera, determine an overlapping FOV between the first image and the second image, generate a disparity estimate based on the overlapping FOV, generate a union FOV disparity estimate, and merge the union FOV disparity estimate with the overlapping FOV disparity estimate.
According to one embodiment, a method is provided. The method includes capturing a first image with a first camera having a first field of view (FOV), the first image having a union FOV, capturing a second image with a second camera having a second FOV that is narrower than the first FOV, determining an overlapping FOV between the first image and the second image, generating a disparity estimate based on the overlapping FOV, generating a union FOV disparity estimate, and merging the union FOV disparity estimate with the overlapping FOV disparity estimate.
The above and other aspects, features, and advantages of certain embodiments of the present disclosure will be more apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Hereinafter, embodiments of the present disclosure are described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings. It should be noted that the same elements will be designated by the same reference numerals although they are shown in different drawings. In the following description, specific details such as detailed configurations and components are merely provided to assist with the overall understanding of the embodiments of the present disclosure. Therefore, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications of the embodiments described herein may be made without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. In addition, descriptions of well-known functions and constructions are omitted for clarity and conciseness. The terms described below are terms defined in consideration of the functions in the present disclosure, and may be different according to users, intentions of the users, or customs. Therefore, the definitions of the terms should be determined based on the contents throughout this specification.
The present disclosure may have various modifications and various embodiments, among which embodiments are described below in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings. However, it should be understood that the present disclosure is not limited to the embodiments, but includes all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives within the scope of the present disclosure.
Although the terms including an ordinal number such as first, second, etc. may be used for describing various elements, the structural elements are not restricted by the terms. The terms are only used to distinguish one element from another element. For example, without departing from the scope of the present disclosure, a first structural element may be referred to as a second structural element. Similarly, the second structural element may also be referred to as the first structural element. As used herein, the term “and/or” includes any and all combinations of one or more associated items.
The terms used herein are merely used to describe various embodiments of the present disclosure but are not intended to limit the present disclosure. Singular forms are intended to include plural forms unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. In the present disclosure, it should be understood that the terms “include” or “have” indicate existence of a feature, a number, a step, an operation, a structural element, parts, or a combination thereof, and do not exclude the existence or probability of the addition of one or more other features, numerals, steps, operations, structural elements, parts, or combinations thereof
Unless defined differently, all terms used herein have the same meanings as those understood by a person skilled in the art to which the present disclosure belongs. Terms such as those defined in a generally used dictionary are to be interpreted to have the same meanings as the contextual meanings in the relevant field of art, and are not to be interpreted to have ideal or excessively formal meanings unless clearly defined in the present disclosure.
The electronic device according to one embodiment may be one of various types of electronic devices. The electronic devices may include, for example, a portable communication device (e.g., a smart phone), a computer, a portable multimedia device, a portable medical device, a camera, a wearable device, or a home appliance. According to one embodiment of the disclosure, an electronic device is not limited to those described above.
The terms used in the present disclosure are not intended to limit the present disclosure but are intended to include various changes, equivalents, or replacements for a corresponding embodiment. With regard to the descriptions of the accompanying drawings, similar reference numerals may be used to refer to similar or related elements. A singular form of a noun corresponding to an item may include one or more of the things, unless the relevant context clearly indicates otherwise. As used herein, each of such phrases as “A or B,” “at least one of A and B,” “at least one of A or B,” “A, B, or C,” “at least one of A, B, and C,” and “at least one of A, B, or C,” may include all possible combinations of the items enumerated together in a corresponding one of the phrases. As used herein, terms such as “1st” “2nd,” “first,” and “second” may be used to distinguish a corresponding component from another component, but are not intended to limit the components in other aspects (e.g., importance or order). It is intended that if an element (e.g., a first element) is referred to, with or without the term “operatively” or “communicatively”, as “coupled with,” “coupled to,” “connected with,” or “connected to” another element (e.g., a second element), it indicates that the element may be coupled with the other element directly (e.g., wired), wirelessly, or via a third element.
As used herein, the term “module” may include a unit implemented in hardware, software, or firmware, and may interchangeably be used with other terms, for example, “logic,” “logic block,” “part,” and “circuitry.” A module may be a single integral component, or a minimum unit or part thereof, adapted to perform one or more functions. For example, according to one embodiment, a module may be implemented in a form of an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC).
The present system and method provides estimation of the real world depth of elements in a scene captured by two cameras with different fields of view (FOVs). Accurate estimation of depth from two stereo rectified images can be obtained by calculating the disparity (e.g., the horizontal displacement) between pixels in both images.
The present system and method provides estimation of depth of all elements in the union of the FOVs of both images. Two cameras may be provided, one with a wide FOV, normally associated with low or no optical zoom, and the other with a narrower FOV, which is often associated with a larger optical zoom. Recent mobile devices are being equipped with two or more cameras. To take advantage of the extra cameras, their lenses are often chosen to have different optical zooms in order for the device to have good resolution at both near and far objects. Particularly, a zoom level of the lens may not be changed by the user due to physical constraints of the lens and the mobile device, or due to calibration and safety purposes such as self-driving applications.
The present system and method may be extended to multiple (e.g., more than two) cameras to determine the disparity from multiple stereo cameras.
For example, one lens in a device is set for lx zoom (e.g., no magnification) and has wide-angle FOV (e.g., wide FOV), whereas the other lens in the device has 2× zoom (e.g., has a magnification of 2 times) has a narrower telephoto FOV (e.g., tele FOV). The union of these two FOVs is that of the wide FOV. As disclosed herein, estimation of the depth for the union of the FOVs, or in this case depth estimation for the whole wide FOV is performed, although correspondence pixels will only exist for the intersection of the FOVs, which is the tele FOV.
Examples of the present disclosure provide a unified architecture for a deep neural network that can perform depth estimation for the union of the FOVs from 2 or more cameras, rather than the overlapped intersection of FOVs only, a method for training the unified architecture on multiple tasks concurrently, and a method for fusion of results from single image depth estimation and stereo depth estimation algorithms/processes. Advantages include depth estimation for the entire FOV spanning all cameras rather than from the overlapped intersection of FOVs only, and generation of aesthetically better images which span the whole wide FOV by applying Bokeh on the entire wide FOV rather than on the intersection FOV, which is the narrower telephoto FOV, in case of dual cameras with fixed preset zoom, as wide lx zoom, and tele photo 2× fixed zoom.
Recent electronic devices are equipped with two or more cameras. The specifications of the two cameras may be (f/1.7, 26 mm, 1× optical zoom) and (f/2.4, 52 mm, 2× optical zoom), respectively. Whereas the first camera has a wider aperture, the second camera has a longer focal length and twice the optical zoom. However, the FOV of the second camera is just the center part of the image at 2× zoom (e.g., tele FOV). The FOV of the first camera is the whole wide FOV at 1× zoom. One reason for having cameras with different FOVs is for diversity where the larger aperture camera is used to obtain better images at low light settings and faster shutters, where the 2× zoom camera offers twice the optical zoom and a higher resolution image for the 2× FOV.
One application of stereo disparity matching is to produce a Bokeh effect in the image by blurring the background, while keeping the object of interest in focus. However, in this case, stereo matching can only be done for the center FOV which is overlapping between both cameras. Hence, if the user chooses to apply the Bokeh effect to the captured image, it can only be done for the center tele FOV, yielding image 100 of
At 304, two images with the same FOV and resolution are generated. The images may be generated by cropping the overlapping FOV 104 from the image 102 with the larger FOV, and down-scaling the overlapping FOV in the higher resolution image 100.
At 306, the disparity information between two images is determined. The disparity information may be determined by applying a stereo matching algorithm/process to the two images generated at 304. The disparity information may correspond to the horizontal shift between pixels between the image 100 and their corresponding pixels in the image 102 for the overlapping FOV 104.
At 308, depth information of either image is generated. The depth information may be generated by transforming the disparity information from 306 by appropriate inversion and scaling.
At 310, a Bokeh algorithm/process is applied. The Bokeh algorithm/process may blur far objects and focus on the near objects, yielding a result similar to the image 100, where the Bokeh effect can only be applied to the tele FOV of image 100.
As described herein, the overlapping FOV may refer to the FOV which exists in all cameras used, even if the FOV is at different scales. The union FOV may refer to the FOV resulting from augmenting the FOV of one reference camera with that of another camera after adjusting the scale to that of the reference image.
Since the RGB-SIDE network needs to understand the scene to learn the relative locations of the different objects with respect to the camera lens, the full wide image 400 is processed at once. The advantage of this solution is that the output provides an estimate of the disparity for the full wide FOV using only one image and one block. The disadvantage of this solution is the lack of accuracy, where the estimated disparity or depth is very coarse, has fuzzy edges, and is prone to large errors. The reason for this is the reliance on scene understanding and relative positions between objects as well as size of objects to estimate the depth of the objects in the FOV.
At 504, a disparity estimate of an overlapping FOV is generated. The disparity estimate may be generated between two images (such as two images generated at 304 of
For the TW-SMNet(T), disparity estimation is only provided for the overlapped region using stereo matching. The overlapped portion 404 are the overlapping FOVs in images 400 and 402. This is done by considering the overlapped portion 404 only in the wide FOV image 400 and stereo matching it against the tele FOV image 402. An algorithm or neural network is designed to regress to the true disparity using only the overlapped regions. This scheme will give the best accuracy for the disparity estimates in the tele region.
For the TW-SMNet(W), the algorithm/process estimates the disparity for the union FOV, using the full wide FOV of the image 400. The image 402 is scaled to match the resolution of the overlapped portion 404 in the image 400. However, the missing regions, which in this case represent the surrounding region outside of the overlapped portion 404 are zero padded to reach the size of the full wide FOV. The output from this block is an estimate for the disparity map for the full wide FOV. This scheme will give decent accuracy for the disparity estimates in the tele region and fairly coarse estimates in the surrounding region.
This network is trained for disparity estimation by stereo matching. An additional head for SIDE based estimation on only the image 400 is added to the network before the cost volume 804. The two heads are trained together, so as the SIDE branch helps the shared layers to have a better scene understanding capability. The network stereo matching loss is regularized against the SIDE loss. The loss function is thus a combined loss function 806 which takes into account the accuracy of the disparity estimate from the SIDE branch, as well as the accuracy of the disparity estimate from the SMDE branch, and the system outputs the disparity at 808. This improves the performance in the surrounding region (non-overlapped FOV) where no stereo matching can be done due to the lack of corresponding objects in the stereo images in this region. However, only one disparity map is output from this network, which is a function of both disparity maps from the SMDE and SIDE branches. This network may only select the stereo matching disparity maps as the final output as it often has a better accuracy.
At 506, the union FOV disparity is enhanced.
At 508, the estimated disparities are merged.
Disparity merging may be performed based on a bias adjustment by estimating a bias b between the overlapping FOV of two disparity maps d1, d2, as in Equation (1):
where n is the number of pixels in overlapping FOV. The surrounding disparity of d2 may be adjusted based on b, and then a weighted sum or disparity selection with d1 may be applied.
Disparity merging may be performed based on scale adjustment, where a scale difference s is estimated between the overlapping FOV of two disparity maps d1, d2, where n is the number of pixels in overlapping FOV as in Equation (2):
The surrounding disparity of d2 may be adjusted based on s, and then a weighted sum or disparity selection with d1 may be applied.
At 510, a disparity map is selected. Disparity merging can also be achieved by a learned non-linear function from a neural network, which can be implemented by a stacked hourglass network.
The disparity of the overlapping FOV may be the most accurate by using SMDE. Hence, the selector 1408 can choose to select the merged disparity 1406 for the surrounding regions, or the disparity from the SMDE 1404 for the overlapping tele FOV.
The wide FOV and tele FOV RGB image features can also be input to the disparity merging block. Other features extracted from the RGB images, such as edge maps, or semantic segmentation maps can further be concatenated as input features together with the different disparity maps.
At 512, the disparity maps are post-processed to enhance quality (e.g., via the post processing blocks of
One example of post processing to reduce the effect of abrupt change in disparity around the overlapped region boundary is smoothing the disparity. However, the edges often represent one object, and the goal is to fill the object with a smoothed depth estimate. One solution is to use edge preserving smoothing. Edge preserving smoothing can be implemented by computing the filtered output as a weighted average which can be implemented iteratively. Local filters such as the bilateral filter may be utilized. One limitation of the bilateral filter and other local filters is that they may not be able to resolve the ambiguity whether to preserve or smooth specific edges in the disparity maps. Using the RGB images as a guidance to smoothing, so as to preserve the edges in the RGB image, which is called edge guided filtering may be utilized. Optimizing a global objective functions defined with a data constraints and a smoothness prior, called fast global smoother (FGS) may also be utilized. Hence, FGS filtered values around the boundary depends on the whole disparity map. In one example, the filtered values around the boundary are calculated using the global filters by deploying FGS. Then only the strip around the boundary in the merged disparity is replaced with the filtered one, and the rest deploys the original merged values.
As described above, the present system and method utilize only two cameras. However, this can be readily extended to more than two cameras.
A straightforward approach is that each reference image is rectified and stereo matched with (N_cameras—1) rectified images, respectively. A very accurate depth estimate can be obtained for the FOV 1604 which is overlapped across cameras, by using a deep learning approach. Because the locations of the cameras with respect to each other are fixed, a disparity between any pair of rectified images should translate to certain values between the remaining pairs, which can be used to get a more accurate result for the overlapping FOV 1604. Parts of the union FOV 1606, will be overlapping between two cameras, but not all the cameras. SM between these camera pairs can be used to get a good estimate of the disparity in this region. Regions in the union FOV 1606, which are only seen by one camera will utilize single image disparity estimation. Alternatively, the union FOV 1606 can utilize all input images, as well disparity estimates for parts in the union FOV 1606 which are overlapping between at least cameras. Other approaches for the fusion between disparity maps and post processing smoothing which were described above are also applicable in this example.
An alternative example with respect to
The processor 1720 may execute, for example, software (e.g., a program 1740) to control at least one other component (e.g., a hardware or a software component) of the electronic device 1701 coupled with the processor 1720, and may perform various data processing or computations. As at least part of the data processing or computations, the processor 1720 may load a command or data received from another component (e.g., the sensor module 1776 or the communication module 1790) in volatile memory 1732, process the command or the data stored in the volatile memory 1732, and store resulting data in non-volatile memory 1734. The processor 1720 may include a main processor 1721 (e.g., a central processing unit (CPU) or an application processor (AP)), and an auxiliary processor 1723 (e.g., a graphics processing unit (GPU), an image signal processor (ISP), a sensor hub processor, or a communication processor (CP)) that is operable independently from, or in conjunction with, the main processor 1721. Additionally or alternatively, the auxiliary processor 1723 may be adapted to consume less power than the main processor 1721, or execute a particular function. The auxiliary processor 1723 may be implemented as being separate from, or a part of, the main processor 1721.
The auxiliary processor 1723 may control at least some of the functions or states related to at least one component (e.g., the display device 1760, the sensor module 1776, or the communication module 1790) among the components of the electronic device 1701, instead of the main processor 1721 while the main processor 1721 is in an inactive (e.g., sleep) state, or together with the main processor 1721 while the main processor 1721 is in an active state (e.g., executing an application). According to one embodiment, the auxiliary processor 1723 (e.g., an image signal processor or a communication processor) may be implemented as part of another component (e.g., the camera module 1780 or the communication module 1790) functionally related to the auxiliary processor 1723.
The memory 1730 may store various data used by at least one component (e.g., the processor 1720 or the sensor module 1776) of the electronic device 1701. The various data may include, for example, software (e.g., the program 1740) and input data or output data for a command related thereto. The memory 1730 may include the volatile memory 1732 or the non-volatile memory 1734.
The program 1740 may be stored in the memory 1730 as software, and may include, for example, an operating system (OS) 1742, middleware 1744, or an application 1746.
The input device 1750 may receive a command or data to be used by other component (e.g., the processor 1720) of the electronic device 1701, from the outside (e.g., a user) of the electronic device 1701. The input device 1750 may include, for example, a microphone, a mouse, or a keyboard.
The sound output device 1755 may output sound signals to the outside of the electronic device 1701. The sound output device 1755 may include, for example, a speaker or a receiver. The speaker may be used for general purposes, such as playing multimedia or recording, and the receiver may be used for receiving an incoming call. According to one embodiment, the receiver may be implemented as being separate from, or a part of, the speaker.
The display device 1760 may visually provide information to the outside (e.g., a user) of the electronic device 1701. The display device 1760 may include, for example, a display, a hologram device, or a projector and control circuitry to control a corresponding one of the display, hologram device, and projector. According to one embodiment, the display device 1760 may include touch circuitry adapted to detect a touch, or sensor circuitry (e.g., a pressure sensor) adapted to measure the intensity of force incurred by the touch.
The audio module 1770 may convert a sound into an electrical signal and vice versa. According to one embodiment, the audio module 1770 may obtain the sound via the input device 1750, or output the sound via the sound output device 1755 or a headphone of an external electronic device 1702 directly (e.g., wired) or wirelessly coupled with the electronic device 1701.
The sensor module 1776 may detect an operational state (e.g., power or temperature) of the electronic device 1701 or an environmental state (e.g., a state of a user) external to the electronic device 1701, and then generate an electrical signal or data value corresponding to the detected state. The sensor module 1776 may include, for example, a gesture sensor, a gyro sensor, an atmospheric pressure sensor, a magnetic sensor, an acceleration sensor, a grip sensor, a proximity sensor, a color sensor, an infrared (IR) sensor, a biometric sensor, a temperature sensor, a humidity sensor, or an illuminance sensor.
The interface 1777 may support one or more specified protocols to be used for the electronic device 1701 to be coupled with the external electronic device 1702 directly (e.g., wired) or wirelessly. According to one embodiment, the interface 1777 may include, for example, a high definition multimedia interface (HDMI), a universal serial bus (USB) interface, a secure digital (SD) card interface, or an audio interface.
A connecting terminal 1778 may include a connector via which the electronic device 1701 may be physically connected with the external electronic device 1702. According to one embodiment, the connecting terminal 1778 may include, for example, an HDMI connector, a USB connector, an SD card connector, or an audio connector (e.g., a headphone connector).
The haptic module 1779 may convert an electrical signal into a mechanical stimulus (e.g., a vibration or a movement) or an electrical stimulus which may be recognized by a user via tactile sensation or kinesthetic sensation. According to one embodiment, the haptic module 1779 may include, for example, a motor, a piezoelectric element, or an electrical stimulator.
The camera module 1780 may capture a still image or moving images. According to one embodiment, the camera module 1780 may include one or more lenses, image sensors, image signal processors, or flashes.
The power management module 1788 may manage power supplied to the electronic device 1701. The power management module 1788 may be implemented as at least part of, for example, a power management integrated circuit (PMIC).
The battery 1789 may supply power to at least one component of the electronic device 1701. According to one embodiment, the battery 1789 may include, for example, a primary cell which is not rechargeable, a secondary cell which is rechargeable, or a fuel cell.
The communication module 1790 may support establishing a direct (e.g., wired) communication channel or a wireless communication channel between the electronic device 1701 and the external electronic device (e.g., the electronic device 1702, the electronic device 1704, or the server 1708) and performing communication via the established communication channel. The communication module 1790 may include one or more communication processors that are operable independently from the processor 1720 (e.g., the AP) and supports a direct (e.g., wired) communication or a wireless communication. According to one embodiment, the communication module 1790 may include a wireless communication module 1792 (e.g., a cellular communication module, a short-range wireless communication module, or a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) communication module) or a wired communication module 1794 (e.g., a local area network (LAN) communication module or a power line communication (PLC) module). A corresponding one of these communication modules may communicate with the external electronic device via the first network 1798 (e.g., a short-range communication network, such as Bluetooth™, wireless-fidelity (Wi-Fi) direct, or a standard of the Infrared Data Association (IrDA)) or the second network 1799 (e.g., a long-range communication network, such as a cellular network, the Internet, or a computer network (e.g., LAN or wide area network (WAN)). These various types of communication modules may be implemented as a single component (e.g., a single IC), or may be implemented as multiple components (e.g., multiple ICs) that are separate from each other. The wireless communication module 1792 may identify and authenticate the electronic device 1701 in a communication network, such as the first network 1798 or the second network 1799, using subscriber information (e.g., international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI)) stored in the subscriber identification module 1796.
The antenna module 1797 may transmit or receive a signal or power to or from the outside (e.g., the external electronic device) of the electronic device 1701. According to one embodiment, the antenna module 1797 may include one or more antennas, and, therefrom, at least one antenna appropriate for a communication scheme used in the communication network, such as the first network 1798 or the second network 1799, may be selected, for example, by the communication module 1790 (e.g., the wireless communication module 1792). The signal or the power may then be transmitted or received between the communication module 1790 and the external electronic device via the selected at least one antenna.
At least some of the above-described components may be mutually coupled and communicate signals (e.g., commands or data) there between via an inter-peripheral communication scheme (e.g., a bus, a general purpose input and output (GPIO), a serial peripheral interface (SPI), or a mobile industry processor interface (MIPI)).
According to one embodiment, commands or data may be transmitted or received between the electronic device 1701 and the external electronic device 1704 via the server 1708 coupled with the second network 1799. Each of the electronic devices 1702 and 1704 may be a device of a same type as, or a different type, from the electronic device 1701. All or some of operations to be executed at the electronic device 1701 may be executed at one or more of the external electronic devices 1702, 1704, or 1708. For example, if the electronic device 1701 should perform a function or a service automatically, or in response to a request from a user or another device, the electronic device 1701, instead of, or in addition to, executing the function or the service, may request the one or more external electronic devices to perform at least part of the function or the service. The one or more external electronic devices receiving the request may perform the at least part of the function or the service requested, or an additional function or an additional service related to the request, and transfer an outcome of the performing to the electronic device 1701. The electronic device 1701 may provide the outcome, with or without further processing of the outcome, as at least part of a reply to the request. To that end, a cloud computing, distributed computing, or client-server computing technology may be used, for example.
One embodiment may be implemented as software (e.g., the program 1740) including one or more instructions that are stored in a storage medium (e.g., internal memory 1736 or external memory 1738) that is readable by a machine (e.g., the electronic device 1701). For example, a processor of the electronic device 1701 may invoke at least one of the one or more instructions stored in the storage medium, and execute it, with or without using one or more other components under the control of the processor. Thus, a machine may be operated to perform at least one function according to the at least one instruction invoked. The one or more instructions may include code generated by a complier or code executable by an interpreter. A machine-readable storage medium may be provided in the form of a non-transitory storage medium. The term “non-transitory” indicates that the storage medium is a tangible device, and does not include a signal (e.g., an electromagnetic wave), but this term does not differentiate between where data is semi-permanently stored in the storage medium and where the data is temporarily stored in the storage medium.
According to one embodiment, a method of the disclosure may be included and provided in a computer program product. The computer program product may be traded as a product between a seller and a buyer. The computer program product may be distributed in the form of a machine-readable storage medium (e.g., a compact disc read only memory (CD-ROM)), or be distributed (e.g., downloaded or uploaded) online via an application store (e.g., Play Store™), or between two user devices (e.g., smart phones) directly. If distributed online, at least part of the computer program product may be temporarily generated or at least temporarily stored in the machine-readable storage medium, such as memory of the manufacturer'"'"'s server, a server of the application store, or a relay server.
According to one embodiment, each component (e.g., a module or a program) of the above-described components may include a single entity or multiple entities. One or more of the above-described components may be omitted, or one or more other components may be added. Alternatively or additionally, a plurality of components (e.g., modules or programs) may be integrated into a single component. In this case, the integrated component may still perform one or more functions of each of the plurality of components in the same or similar manner as they are performed by a corresponding one of the plurality of components before the integration. Operations performed by the module, the program, or another component may be carried out sequentially, in parallel, repeatedly, or heuristically, or one or more of the operations may be executed in a different order or omitted, or one or more other operations may be added.
Although certain embodiments of the present disclosure have been described in the detailed description of the present disclosure, the present disclosure may be modified in various forms without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. Thus, the scope of the present disclosure shall not be determined merely based on the described embodiments, but rather determined based on the accompanying claims and equivalents thereto.