Ouster has been granted a patent for an optical system that collects distance information using lenses, lens tubes, pixels, and illumination sources. The system includes emitter arrays, detector arrays, lens tubes, shutters, and optical filters to accurately capture and process distance data within a field. GlobalData’s report on Ouster gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Ouster, Lidar-assisted navigation was a key innovation area identified from patents. Ouster's grant share as of April 2024 was 29%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Patent granted for optical system collecting distance information

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Ouster, Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11956410B2) discloses an optical system designed for collecting distance information. The system includes a bulk transmitting optic, an emitter array with multiple optical emitters emitting beams towards specific spots in a field, a bulk imaging optic, a detector array with pixels aligned with corresponding lens tubes, shutters synchronized with the optical emitters, and optical filters allowing specific wavelengths to pass through. The system aims to accurately detect photons reflected from surfaces within the field, with each pixel comprising subpixels for enhanced sensing capabilities.

Furthermore, the patent details an advanced version of the optical system, featuring multiple emitter groupings, each with a set of optical emitters emitting beams towards distinct spots in the field. Corresponding lens tubes and shutters are aligned with the emitter groupings, allowing for precise detection and imaging. The system also includes circuitry for sequential activation of optical emitters and sampling of subpixels in a pixel, enhancing the system's efficiency in capturing distance information. Additionally, the inclusion of diffusers helps spread collimated light across subpixels, improving overall detection accuracy. The patent highlights the use of electrochromic or MEMS mechanical shutters for optimal performance, along with a two-dimensional grid array arrangement for the lens tubes, further enhancing the system's capabilities.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.