Canon patent details biometric watermarking|
(Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 20:35 EST)
An article on the Photography Bay website today reports on a very interesting new patent application recently filed by Japan's Canon Inc.
The application, entitled "Picture taking apparatus and method of controlling same", covers a new methodology for digitally watermarking images with the photographer's biometric data. In brief, the camera contains an iris sensor and infrared LEDs in the viewfinder mechanism, which allow biometric data on the photographer to be captured.
Before taking a series of photos, the photographer simply sets the camera to a "registration" mode and presses the shutter button while looking at the center AF mark through the viewfinder. The iris is scanned, and the resulting data stored in one of several in-camera profiles allowing for multiple photographers to share one camera body.
As the photos are taken, they're tagged as being by a specific photographer, with the patent going on to describe multiple ways in which images can be watermarked with the data. The copyright holder of an image can then be identified by reading the watermark hidden within.
For more on this interesting patent application, we'd suggest reading Photography Bay's excellent analysis.