Doppler time-of-flight imaging

Felix Heide, Gordon Wetzstein, Matthias Hullin, Wolfgang Heidrich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

20 Scopus citations


Over the last few years, depth cameras have become increasingly popular for a range of applications, including human-computer interaction and gaming, augmented reality, machine vision, and medical imaging. Many of the commercially-available devices use the time-of-flight principle, where active illumination is temporally coded and analyzed on the camera to estimate a per-pixel depth map of the scene. In this paper, we propose a fundamentally new imaging modality for all time-of-flight (ToF) cameras: per-pixel velocity measurement. The proposed technique exploits the Doppler effect of objects in motion, which shifts the temporal frequency of the illumination before it reaches the camera. Using carefully coded illumination and modulation frequencies of the ToF camera, object velocities directly map to measured pixel intensities. We show that a slight modification of our imaging system allows for color, depth, and velocity information to be captured simultaneously. Combining the optical flow computed on the RGB frames with the measured metric axial velocity allows us to further estimate the full 3D metric velocity field of the scene. We believe that the proposed technique has applications in many computer graphics and vision problems, for example motion tracking, segmentation, recognition, and motion deblurring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationACM SIGGRAPH 2015 Emerging Technologies, SIGGRAPH 2015
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
ISBN (Electronic)9781450336352
StatePublished - Jul 31 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, SIGGRAPH 2015 - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: Aug 9 2015Aug 13 2015

Publication series

NameACM SIGGRAPH 2015 Emerging Technologies, SIGGRAPH 2015


ConferenceInternational Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, SIGGRAPH 2015
CountryUnited States
CityLos Angeles

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software

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    Heide, F., Wetzstein, G., Hullin, M., & Heidrich, W. (2015). Doppler time-of-flight imaging. In ACM SIGGRAPH 2015 Emerging Technologies, SIGGRAPH 2015 [a9] (ACM SIGGRAPH 2015 Emerging Technologies, SIGGRAPH 2015). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.