Of the many technologies that have helped drive the robotics sector in the last few years, there's a good case to be made that machine vision has had one of the greatest impacts. It's also almost certainly true that new imaging technologies, and in particular 3D cameras, are on the cusp of unlocking heretofore unseen capabilities in robots. That fact is made clear in a host of new 3D sensing offerings from a company called Orbbec, a leading global 3D camera provider that recently launched four new products that typify how the technology class will soon extend robotics capabilities to a wide range of environment requirements, such as temperature and lighting conditions from sunlight to total darkness. "Innovations in 3D imaging, combined with broader advances like 5G, artificial intelligence and ultra-fast processors, are transforming the application landscape for designers and engineers," says David Chen, Co-Founder and CEO at Orbbec. One of these sensors utilizes time-of-flight technology, which utilizes an artificial light signal to resolve distance between the sensor and the subject for each point of the image, thus sensing in three dimensions with extreme accuracy.
Gesture-based interfaces are applications that allow users to control devices using hand and other body parts. Today, they are found in devices used in home automation, shopping, consumer electronics, virtual reality and augmented reality gaming, navigation, and driving, among others. A study reported that the global gesture recognition in the retail market is projected to grow by 27.54 percent from 2018 to 2023. To date, some of the top producers of gestural interface products include Intel, Apple, Microsoft, and Google. According to research titled Hand Gesture Recognition Using Computer Vision, gesture recognition is done in two ways: data glove sensor devices that transform hand and finger motions into digital data, and computer vision which uses a camera.
Dual cameras are so passé. Qualcomm is getting ready to define the next generation of cameras for the Android ecosystem. It's adding three new camera modules to its Spectra Module Program, which lets device manufacturers select ready-made parts for their products. The additions are an iris-authentication front-facing option, an "Entry-Level Computer Vision" setup and a "Premium Computer Vision" kit. The latter two carry out passive and active depth-sensing respectively, using Qualcomm's newly revamped image signal processing (ISP) architecture.
Big changes are coming to your phone's smartphone camera next year, with Qualcomm previewing an update to its image signal processor (ISP) that will better support features like face recognition and mixed reality. Qualcomm's Spectra ISP is a part of the Snapdragon system on chip that's a popular mobile processor platform for many Android phones. While the next major Snapdragon update won't arrive until next year, the changes planned for the Spectra ISP have major implications not just for the cameras on 2018 Android phones but for virtual- and augmented reality headsets as well. That's because the next version of the Spectra ISP introduces a new architecture to support advances in image quality, image recognition and power efficiency. Specifically, Qualcomm is promising that its new camera module will feature improved biometric sensing for detecting people's faces and support for depth sensing that can power mixed reality features for smartphones and headsets.
While Apple and others have made the leap to two cameras, ASUS have got one step further - with a triple sensor. The firm's new Zenfone AR has a traditional 23-megapixel sensor, alongside motion-tracking and depth-sensing cameras. It can combine four native 23-megapixel photos to create a single image --something the company is calling a 92-megapixel'super resolution' photo. The Zenfone AR has a 23-megapixel camera sensor, alongside motion-tracking and depth-sensing cameras, allowing it to scan a room and superimpose images on it. Asus has revealed a new smartphone which uses Google Tango 3D technology and allows users to experience augmented and virtual reality.