Cambridge Mechatronics 3D Sensing Technology

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Cambridge Mechatronics uses Apple iPad Pro LiDAR announcement opportunity to emphasize advantages of its 3D sensing technology:

"Systems using Indirect Time of Flight (iToF) technology have shipped in Android smartphones for some time, but their practical working range is only around two metres. This has limited their use to camera enhancements such as portrait photo background blurring. Apple advise their Direct Time of Flight (dToF) technology has a useful range of five metres.

To unlock the broadest range of AR user experiences, accurately measuring depth of ten metres or more is necessary. All technologies in use today compromise system resolution and performance when increasing range. However, CML has developed technology combining optical components, actuators and software to increase working range to ten metres and more without any compromise to measurement resolution or performance. This gives a best of both worlds solution targeted at smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

CML’s 3D sensing enhancement technology is available to licence now. We are working with our global partners, including major device brands and their supply chains, to bring the most engaging and immersive next generation AR experiences to consumers.

Update: A PCT Patent Application WO2020030916 "Improved 3D Sensing" by David Richards and Joshua Carr describes the company's approach:

"...there is provided an apparatus for use in generating a three-dimensional representation of a scene, the apparatus comprising: a time-of-flight (ToF) imaging camera system comprising a multipixel sensor and a light source and arranged to emit illumination having a spatially-nonuniform intensity over the field of view of the sensor; and an actuation mechanism for moving the illumination across at least part of the field of view of the sensor, thereby enabling generation of the representation. This may be achieved without moving the sensor.

The non-uniform illumination may be any form of illumination, including a beam of light, a pattern of light, a striped pattern of light, a dot pattern of light.

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