Face Identification Through Depth-Sensing Lasers

Sony is the global leader in imaging sensors. They manufacture it for smartphones and professional DSLR and also, mirrorless cameras.

Sony is very eager to establish itself as the go-to supplier for the next generation of visual-processing chips with a new set of 3D sensors. Sony’s sensor division boss “Satoshi Yoshihara said Sony plans to increase the production of chips to power front and rear 3D cameras, responding to demand from multiple smartphone manufacturers.

Yoshihara is incredibly excited and anxious about the potential for augmented reality applications, the most intriguing aspect of this new tech would appear to be a better form of face identification than we currently have.

Apple was the first to bring into use the Face ID approach, it was used on the iPhone X. Other brands like Xiaomi, Huawei, and Vivo have since emulated.



How Does It Work?

This Face ID works by projecting out a grid of invisible dots and detecting the user’s face by the deformations of that grid in 3D space. Sony’s 3D sensor deploys laser pulses. It creates a depth map of its surroundings by measuring how long a pulse takes to rebound. Sony’s sensor chief states this produces more detailed models of user’s faces, and also that it works from as far as five meters, which is 16 feet.

There is certainly room for improvement for current face-unlocking methods. In late 2017, a report released of Apple preparing exactly this type of laser-based system. Furthermore, at the time the company was said to still be courting suppliers.

Sony’s Upgraded 3D-Sensing Chip

Yoshihara did not unveil which hardware partners Sony expects to see using its 3D sensor technology. But Sony already provides imaging sensors to Apple. So there’s a reasonable chance that they will find their junction with iPhones presenting Sony’s upgraded 3D-sensing chip.




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