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Qualcomm's new depth-sensing sensors are focussed towards AR

17 August, 2017, 13:59 | Author: Lydia Fleming
  • Qualcomm says new 3D camera capabilities coming to next year's Android phones, inc infra-red [Video]

San Diego-based Qualcomm said on Tuesday that it has rolled out new, depth sensing camera technology, which it is specifically aiming at use in Android devices.

Qualcomm, which creates mobile processors, is pioneering a new active depth sensor that will probably make its way to Android phones next year via their upcoming 2nd generation Snapdragon processor.

The tech is called active depth sensing and includes placing two cameras - one infrared and one standard - and a laser on the back of your phone. It has confirmed on the new features that it will be adding to its second-generation image signal processor named Spectra that will arrive along with the next mobile chipset.

These Qualcomm Spectra ISPs will also offer up a new camera architecture designed for improvement in image quality and power efficiency for the next Snapdragon Mobile and VR Platforms.

Iris scanning is becoming an important feature on mobile devices, and not just as a way to augment other security features like fingerprint unlocking.


On the flip side, performance of the 835 chip in the Samsung S8 doesn't exactly help make Qualcomm's case: it was quickly demonstrated that the face-recognition system could be fooled by a photo.

Future Android phones could come equipped with some fancy new camera features thanks to technology being developed by Qualcomm. Qualcomm claims that its iris authentication is so accurate that it can detect your eyes even when you have sunglasses on.

The video below shows an engineer with a prototype tablet using Qualcomm technology structured light camera module.

Those modules may highlight some of the changes Qualcomm has planned for its ISP, but they're not all the enhancements on tap for the next version of Spectra. Offering a ready-to-use depth-sensing image processor is the first step in this mission. But depth-sensing and biometrics aren't the only benefits the technology could bring to the tech products. It features multi-frame noise reduction for superior photographic quality, along with hardware-accelerated motion compensated temporal filtering (MCTF), and inline electronic image stabilization (EIS) for superior camcorder-like video quality.

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