Measuring Distance with Mobile Phones Using Single-Camera Stereo Vision

Publication, 2012


C. Holzmann, M. Hochgatterer - Measuring Distance with Mobile Phones Using Single-Camera Stereo Vision - Proceedings of the 32nd IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems Workshops (ICDCSW 2012), Macau, China, 2012


Computer stereo vision is an important technique for robotic navigation and other mobile scenarios where depth perception is needed, but it usually requires two cameras with a known horizontal displacement. In this paper, we present a solution for mobile devices with just one camera, which is a first step towards making computer stereo vision available to a wide range of devices that are not equipped with stereo cameras. We have built a prototype using a state-of-the-art mobile phone, which has to be manually displaced in order to record images from different lines of sight. Since the displacement between the two images is not known in advance, it is measured using the phone’s inertial sensors. We evaluated the accuracy of our single-camera approach by performing distance calculations to everyday objects in different indoor and outdoor scenarios, and compared the results with that of a stereo camera phone. As a main advantage of a single moving camera is the possibility to vary its relative position between taking the two pictures, we investigated the effect of different camera displacements on the accuracy of distance measurements.