MannGlas™ Welding Helmet

See dynamic range of more than 100 million to one

Clearly see the electric welding arc while also seeing in complete darkness

  1. Invention title: MannGlas™ Welding Helmet
  2. Summary explanation -- how it works: S. Mann learned to weld in early childhood, and this inspired him to invent HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging. According to Robertson et al.:
    "The first report of digitally combining multiple pictures of the same scene to improve dynamic range appears to be Mann [Mann 1993]." [JEI 12(2), p220].
    Mann's HDR and Panoramics inventions (extending dynamic range by combining multiple exposures of the same subject matter) are both now used in or with nearly every commercially produced camera including the Apple iPhone.

    Whereas other breakthroughs in welding helments, like 3M's Speedglas, provide global auto-darkening, the MannGlas helmet provides HDR vision. This means the user can see the welding arc plus also the weld pudle and surrounding material all very clearly, including being able to see in complete darkness the surroundings well beyond the area being welded.

  3. Example commercial application: Welding helmets, computer vision systems, Digital Eye Glass, Robotic welding, etc..
  4. Link to technical papers and videos associated with the invention: COMPARAMETRIC IMAGE COMPOSITING: COMPUTATIONALLY EFFICIENT HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE IMAGING. See also, Comparametric Equations with Practical Applications in Quantigraphic Image Processing. Link to video, papers, etc.: Siggraph 2012. A one-page overview is available here ( A popular-press article giving a general overview: Quantigraphic camera promises HDR eyesight from Father of AR.
  5. Patent applications filed or issued: The MannGlas helmet is an application of HDR (High Dynamic Range) Imaging. Althrough HDR has been in existence for more than 22 years, when Mann invented it in the 1990s, there are some exciting new developments. Various improvements to this work are ongoing, and a patent was recently filed: US 20120180180, Title: Seeing aid or other sensory aid or interface for activities such as electric arc welding, Filed: December 16, 2011 Published: July 19, 2012. Collaborator: Ali; Mir Adnan; (London, CA). Additional patent documents are in the works.
  6. Prototypes constructed: A number of working prototypes have been constructed and are available for use.
  7. Further notes: Mir Adnan Ali, an expert on Comparametric Camera Response Functions, should be brought in to collaborate on this project.
Here is a brief biography on the inventor, Steve Mann; and also Wikipedia has more info on the inventor.

Related invention: HDR (High Dynamic Range) Imaging and CCRF (Comparametric Camera Response Function):

Return to a list of some of Steve Mann inventions