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May 31, 2006 – Digital imaging technology company FotoNation, Inc. was awarded another U.S. patent this month pertaining to red-eye detection and correction. This patent is just one of several patents the company has, with more technology pending. The new technology can be used in digital cameras, camera phones, and printers to filter red-eye and fix it in the device. FotoNation’s technology has already been sold to manufacturers such as Kodak, Nikon, Pentax, and others.
"The [U.S. Patent and Trademark Office] has acknowledged FotoNation’s inventive concept of implementing red eye in embedded acquisition systems," said Eran Steinberg, FotoNation’s CEO, in the May 19 press release. "We are presenting this patent to our customers as yet another guarantee of the protection one may have licensing our red-eye technology."
The technology, which was officially patented May 9, uses a filter to detect red-eye and then replaces the red with black color. The red-eye phenomenon is caused by light reflecting off the blood vessels in the back of the retina and is often caused by built-in flash components.
Nikon first released its red-eye correction technology last year along with its suite of face-priority auto focus and lighting compensation technologies. Kodak included digital red-eye reduction in its models later in 2005. Pentax also includes a red-eye compensation editing option on its digital cameras.