Milestone-Proposal:Commercialization of Image Stabilizer, 1981-1988

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Docket #:2023-24

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To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? No

Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes

Was it of at least regional importance? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an IEEE Milestone? Yes

Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:


Title of the proposed milestone:

Commercialization of Image Stabilizer, 1981-1988

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

Panasonic Holdings Corporation started the development of an image stabilizing system to compensate for handheld camera blur in 1981, and succeeded in the commercialization of world’s first Image Stabilizer in 1988. At present, this image stabilizer is used in almost all cameras, such as digital still cameras, digital single lens cameras, digital video cameras, and smartphones.

200-250 word abstract describing the significance of the technical achievement being proposed, the person(s) involved, historical context, humanitarian and social impact, as well as any possible controversies the advocate might need to review.

We developed and commercialized the world's first image stabilizer for hand-held camera in 1988. We started this project in 1981, and invented a basic patent of a compact and lightweight image stabilizer in 1983. First, we developed a key device: a gyro sensor that employs a tuning fork structure and a vibration feedback method. This is an ultra-compact and lightweight device that can be integrated into a hand-held camera. Then we invented several blur correction mechanisms: Optical Image Stabilizer(OIS), in-Body Image Stabilizer (BIS), and Electronic Image Stabilizer(EIS)in 1983. Today, these image stabilization technologies are used in almost all cameras.

We commercialized the world’s first video camera with OIS (PV-460) in 1988, the world’s first compact digital camera with OIS (DMC-FX5) in 2003, and single lens digital cameras with BIS (DMC-GX8) in 2015. Our technology has been used for smartphones with OIS (iPhone 6 Plus) by Apple since 2014. Because the lighter the device, the greater the camera shake, image stabilizer has been widely implemented in many smartphones.

Image stabilization technology enables everyone to shoot high quality images without blurring. Since blur-free pictures are also required for facial recognition and in-vehicle systems, image stabilization technology is also being implemented in industrial cameras. This technology is used in a wide range of cameras from consumer to industrial applications, contributing significantly to the world today.

IEEE technical societies and technical councils within whose fields of interest the Milestone proposal resides.

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

Kansai Section

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: Kansai Section
Senior Officer Name: Yoshinobu Kajikawa

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: Kansai Section
Senior Officer Name: Yoshinobu Kajikawa

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: Kansai Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Yoshinobu Kajikawa

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Isao Shirakawa
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates in decimal form of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

Panasonic Museum, 1006 Oaza-Kadoma, Kadoma, Osaka, 571-8501, Japan N 34.73816, E 135.57279

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need. N 34.73816, E 135.57279

Are the original buildings extant?


Details of the plaque mounting:

in the ground floor entrance hall of Panasonic Museum

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

The plaque displayed in Panasonic Museum is protected by Panasonic Holdings Corporation, and made accessible to the public with permission of Panasonic.

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

Mr. Yuki Kusumi, CEO of Panasonic Holdings Corporation.

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)? If personal names are included in citation, include justification here. (see section 6 of Milestone Guidelines)

The historical significance of the commercialization of Image Stabilizers by Panasonic is briefed in what follows.

(1) Historical Background of Developing Image Stabilizer.

A camera was commercialized first in 1888 by Eastman (USA), which, however, was so difficult to operate that it was used restrictedly by professional photographers, not by general consumers. For much more widespread use, the following three technologies were indis-pensable; the automatic exposure technology invented in 1956 by Agfa (Germany), the autofocus technology invented in 1973 by Honeywell (USA), and the image stabilizing technology, which was invented in 1983 and commercialized in 1988 by Panasonic (Japan).

Around 1980, there were image stabilization systems for military and cinematographic use, but none could be integrated into handheld cameras, because they were several times larger and heavier than cameras. The Steadicam for movies was heavy and large because it used the inertia of a weight to suppress camera shake. The image stabilization for use on aircrafts had large sensors and correction mechanisms. For these reasons, image stabilization for handheld cameras had not been realized. Furthermore, at the time, image stabilization was not considered necessary for consumer-use cameras, so no attempt was made to develop it and there were absolutely no compact electronic or optical components that could be mounted on a handheld camera. In particular, the lack of a gyro sensor was the biggest problem. Therefore, we set out to develop a gyro sensor, and succeeded in developing one and realizing image stabilization.

(2) Impact of this technology on the today's world 

(a) Impact to technology Panasonic's invention is an essential patent that covers not only optical image stabilization (OIS) but also electronic image stabilization (EIS) using charge coupled devices (CCDs) and mechanical stabilization of the image sensor mounted on recent single-lens cameras. There-fore, this technology or patent is used for image stabilization (IS) in cameras currently in use. This IS technology is used in almost all modern handheld cameras (single-lens reflex cameras, compact digital cameras, and digital video cameras), large cameras for broadcasting, and smart-phones, and is widely used by people all over the world.

(b) Impact to market The digital still camera (DSC) market has moved towards smaller sizes, lower weight, and higher resolutions, much as mobile camera modules have followed the same trend after their introduction in smart-phones and handsets. A big drawback to this development has been the impact of blurring, caused by involuntary motions, on image quality. In fact, lighter cameras produce greater blurring. In addition, the introduction of larger LCD displays has encouraged users to take pictures with outstretched arms, further increasing blurring [2].

The introduction of IS in several mobile platforms has been a significant added value for photography lovers, especially for younger users, who replaced their traditional and bulky cameras with brand-new smartphones, or had cameras available to record memories, simply because those cameras were embedded in the mobile platform they were already carrying. IS in smartphones enables pictures and video with quality comparable to DSCs in so many operating conditions. As a consequence, the request for IS is increasing both in compact DSCs and smartphones [2].

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

(1) Technical obstacles There were no ultra-compact and stable gyro-sensors that could be mounted on a handheld camera. Vibration gyro was invented by Sperry in 1948 and developed for attitude control of missile or aircraft. But this vibration gyro was unstable and generated noise, resulting in blurred images when used for image stabilization. We clarified the problem by computer simulation of the vibration of the vibration gyro. Based on these results, a tuning-fork structure and a vibration feedback system were adopted. This has led to the development of an ultra-compact and lightweight gyro-sensor.

(2) Cultural obstacles In the early 1980s, there were no handheld cameras with image stabilization because small gyros had not yet been commercialized. Furthermore, many of the consumer video cameras that appeared around this time were not yet equipped with automatic focus. Because of this, the need for image stabilization was not recognized. Many people believed that image stabilization could be achieved by the photographer holding the camera in a certain way. This public perception that image stabilization was not necessary was an obstacle, and no company or department was willing to cooperate in the development of a gyro sensor for image stabilization or a camera with image stabilization. Therefore, we produced a promotional video of a helicopter equipped with an image stabilization camera and publicized image stabilization both internally and externally to find collaborators for the development of image stabilization, which finally led to commercialization in 1988.

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

A number of distinctive features of this image stabilizer are summarized in what follows.

(1) Ultra-lightweight gyro sensor [16]

The main type of gyro at that time was the large and heavy rotary gyro. On the other hand, the vibration gyro invented in 1948 was small but had poor stability and could not be put into practical use. Panasonic developed a vibrating gyro sensor with a tuning-fork structure and a vibration feedback system, which made it possible to reduce both size and cost. This method significantly reduces noise, eliminating jitter caused by gyro noise and making it possible for the first time to apply this technology to image stabilization, which requires high image quality.

(2) Invention of critical implementation technology essential for image stabilization [12]~[15]

If two gyros, one longitudinal and the other transverse, are implemented, interference will occur between them due to the different vibration frequencies of each vibrating gyro, resulting in noise and blurred images. The technology to prevent this interference was invented by separating the two vibration frequencies by more than a certain frequency. This technology has enabled stable image stabilization.

(3) Obtain and analyze basic data on hand shake [8]

When the development started, there were no scientific papers or literature on hand shake. Therefore, we constructed a prototype image shake generator and conducted subjective evaluations and analyses of human shake, such as detection limits and tolerances, as well as acquiring basic data such as image shake quantity and image shake frequency during walking and still shooting with an actual camera. We used the data to analyze and quantify hand shake. The results were presented in a paper at IEEE Transactions issue in 1989.

Based on these results, we newly developed a compact gyroscope suitable for detecting hand shake, and set targets to reduce the amount of hand shake during walking photography to below the allowable limit and to reduce the amount of hand shake during still photography to below the detection limit.

(4) Comfortable image stabilization [8]

Correction made by image stabilization control that is not intended by the operator can cause a sense of discomfort. In order to eliminate this discomfort, this image stabilization system automatically classifies the operator's intentions based on the operator's movements and switches the correction on and off, thereby eliminating the sense of discomfort.

Even if the photographer tried to change the shooting direction, the camera could not work in the direction the photographer intended because the motion would be detected as hand shake and corrected.

To solve this problem, Panasonic have developed a mode discrimination algorithm to determine the photographer's intention, which discriminates between the motion caused by hand shake and the motion intended by the photographer based on the direction information of the camera lens relative to the gyroscope or camera body, and thus improved operability by introducing adaptive control on the judgment result.

(5) Image stabilization system with wide correction range

Today, from the technological point of view, Digital Image Stabilization (DIS), Electronics Image Stabilization (EIS), and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) are the best understood and the easiest to integrate in digital still cameras and smartphones, although they can produce different image-quality results: In fact, DIS and EIS require large memory and computational resources on the hosting devices, while OIS acts directly on the lens position itself and minimizes memory and computation demands on from the host. As an electro-mechanical method, lens stabilization (optical unit) is the most effective method for removing blurring effects from involuntary hand motion or shaking of the camera [2].

In 1988, the first model used the overall drive method for optical image stabilization, because it drives the entire lens unit and has more than 10 times wider correction range than the lens shift method, which corrects a part of the lens.[8]

(6) Relation to other methods

Various image stabilization technologies are currently in practical use. These technologies were invented, examined, and granted basic patents in the process of developing this product.

(7) Initiatives and achievements resulting from continuous performance improvement efforts

Since 1988, when the world's first consumer video camera equipped with image stabilization technology was launched, the market demanded a camera equipped with a smaller image stabilization mechanism. In 1999, Panasonic commercialized an inner lens shift system that sets the image stabilization range to still photography level (±0.3 deg) and in which some of the photographic lenses are corrected for the influence of hand shake by driving and controlling them up, down, left, and right.

In 2003, Panasonic commercialized the DMC-FX1 and DMC-FX5, the world's first compact digital still cameras with image stabilization. In addition, in 2015, Panasonic became the first in the world to put into practical use a dual correction system consisting of an inner lens shift system and a sensor drive system, achieving a stable correction effect from a wide-angle lens attached mode to a telephoto lens attached mode. Subsequently, in addition to the output of the gyroscope sensor, video information and the output of the accelerometer have been utilized to improve the accuracy of image shake detection and achieve the world's highest level of correction performance with approximately -45 dB (ISO 20954 -1 compliant: 7.5 stops) [4].

(8) Social contributions and future directions

Since 1988, when the world's first consumer video camera equipped with image stabilization technology was launched, a greater number of video cameras in the market have been equipped with the technology as a standard feature. Since 2000, digital still cameras also have incorporated image stabilization as a standard feature. (Market size: Approximately 760 billion yen, surveyed by Panasonic, in 2020).

Furthermore, since the technology was introduced in smartphones (iphone 6 Plus) in 2015, it has appeared in still greater number of smartphone models. (Market size: approximately 30 trillion yen; estimated by Panasonic using the statistics of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications). This is a testament to the fact that, all over the world, anyone can easily record high-quality, unshaken images and use them in a variety of situations, including social media.

In recent years, face recognition technology and in-vehicle cameras have started to be used for industrial camera applications, and image stabilization technology has become essential for a variety of applications as a means of detecting information with more stable and high-quality images. In the future, it will be further used in wearables and mobile devices, will be used in a wide range of fields from consumer to industrial, and will continue to generate significant ripple effects worldwide.

Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.

[1] ‘Panasonic Museum’:

[2] ‘Optical image stabilization’, document/white_paper/c9/a6/fd/e4/e6/4e/48/60/ois_white_paper.pdf/files/ois_white_paper.pdf/jcr:content/translations/en.ois_white_paper.pdf

[3] ‘What is an optimal image stabilizer(OIS)?’,

[4] DVC,LUMIX Global Sites

[5] Image stabilization: (JP).

[6] Digital Museum of Discovery and Invention: Database on Noteworthy Contributions for Science and Technology (Japan) Development of VHS camcorder with Image Stabilization

[7] BRIAN MERCHANT “The One Device The Secret history of The iPhone”, Little, Brown and Company, New York, pp123-137(2017)


[8] M. Oshima, T. Hayashi, S. Fujioka, T. Inaji, H. Mitani, J. Kajino, K. Ikeda and K. Komoda:“VHS Camcorder with Electronic Image Stabilizer”,IEEE Trans. Consum. Electron., Vol.35,No.4,pp.749-758 (1989) ※ Selected for original paper by SPIE(The International Society for Optical Engineering)in 1996

[9] T. Hayashi, K. Yamada, and H. Kusaka: “Optical Image Stabilizing Lens System” ,SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal,Vol.111, No.11,pp.554-561 (2002) .

[10] H.Kusaka, Y.Tsuchida,and T. Shimohata:“Control Technology for Optical Image Stabilization”,SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal,Vol.111, No.12,pp.609-615 (2002). [11] K. Hayashi, M. Tanaka. H. Kusaka and H.Hashi:”New Approach on Multi-axial Analysis of Camera Shake”,2010 Digest of Technical Papers ICCE , Jan.2010

[Major Patent]

[12]1983/12/29 JP1589189 “CAMERA APPARATUS(Japanese)” Mitsuaki Oshima, Masataka Izaki, Jirou Kajino, Yoshiaki Igarashi, Hiroshi Mitani

[13] 1984/12/31 USP4623930 “CAMERA APPARATUS” Mitsuaki Oshima, Masataka Izaki, Jirou Kajino, Yoshiaki Igarashi, Hiroshi Mitani

[14] 1990/04/12 USP5020890 ”CAMERA APPARATUS WITH FLUCTUATIONS SUPPRESSING MEANS” Mitsuaki Oshima, Masataka Izaki, Jirou Kajino, Yoshiaki Igarashi, Hiroshi Mitani

[15] 1991/08/30 USP5294991 “CAMERA APPARATUS” Mitsuaki Oshima, Masataka Izaki, Jirou Kajino, Yoshiaki Igarashi, Hiroshi Mitani

[16] 1985/03/21 USP4671112 “Angular Velocity Sensor” Suzushi Kimura, Hiroshi Yamaguchi


[17] Innovation Awards 1988 (1988 SUMMER CES)

[18] R&D100 Awards 1989

[19] 2003 Imperial Invention Award JP1589189

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