Friday, January 18, 2019

FLIR Explains Sony 3rd Generation Pregius Features

ClearViewImaging publishes FLIR (PointGrey) presentation on image sensor technology news, explaining Sony 3rd generation Pregius sensor features among other things:

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Swiss Eye Tracking Startup Raises $1.9m

Swiss startup Eyeware develops 3D eye tracking software for depth sensing enabled consumer devices, such as Microsoft Kinect, Intel RealSense, Orbbec Astra, etc. How do they track gaze from low-resolution 3D images?

"Generally speaking: We require a low-resolution 3D pixel cloud of the face and eye regions and are agnostic to the underlying technology. It works as well for ToF sensors (i.e. non-RGB images). Our software uses that input to model the head pose and eye regions, providing the gaze vector in real-time."

Eyeware announces the closing of its seed financing round of 1.9M CHF ($1.9M USD). The seed round was led by High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), in partnership with TRUMPF Venture GmbH, Swiss Startup Group, and Zurich Kantonalbank.

Eyeware is a spin-off of Idiap Research Institute and EPFL created in September 2016. Eyeware software can use automotive grade ToF cameras to estimate attention of drivers for in-cabin monitoring and infotainment systems. The capital will be used by the Eyeware team to bring the 3D eye tracking development kit ready for integration into consumer applications.

SiOnyx Receives $20m Award for US Army Night Vision Project

BusinessWire: SiOnyx announces a $19.9m award for the delivery of digital night vision cameras for the IVAS (Integrated Visual Augmentation System) program.

BBC on Camera Damage by LiDAR

BBC publishes its version of the camera damage by CES LiDAR story. It turns out that the owner of camera has quite an extensive experience with LiDARs. He sort of confirms that the problem might be specific to Aeye LiDAR:

"I have personally tested many lidar systems and taken pictures up close and [they] did not harm my camera."

A review of Optical Phased Array LiDAR

AutoSens starts to publish videos from its Brussels 2018 conference. One of the first videos is Michael Watts, CEO of Analog Photonics, presentation:

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Yole Forecasts Uncooled LWIR Sensors Market

Yole Developpement report on "Uncooled Infrared Imagers and Detectors 2019" forecasts:

"The uncooled IR detector and imager market looks promising, with annual growth of 7% in value over the 2018-2024 period. For microbolometers, numerous commercial applications have driven the imager market growth. These include thermography, surveillance, personal vision systems (PVS) and firefighting. Most noticeably, shipments exceeded a million units in 2017, mostly due to FLIR’s Lepton core and SEEK Thermal’s success, heading to two million units in 2021!

The uncooled IR imager business is still driven by commercial markets, which will continue to expand quickly, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR2018-2024) of 15.8% in shipment volumes. These markets will represent 93% of all shipments by 2024. Thermography will have a 9% shipment volume CAGR2018-2024. This application is a sure thing for the microbolometer market, with IR imagers used here for industrial and commercial applications including home diagnosis and hot spot identification. Firefighting is an attractive opportunity with 20% shipment volume CAGR2018-2024. There is a very large potential market, with 37 million firefighters worldwide.

Some of the key events on the market are:

  • LG Innotek announced that it is promoting its thermal imaging infrared camera module business. This sounds exciting as LG is the leader for visible camera modules and is Apple’s supplier.
  • Amazon introduced 9 cashierless stores in 2018, which include hundreds of cameras including infrared sensors. 3,000 stores are expected by 2021.
  • Following the success of the CATS60 smartphone, Caterpillar launched the CATS61 with increased functionality. In two years, it shipped more than 500,000 units of the CATS60.
  • Leonardo DRS launched its TENUM 640 core, based on a Wafer-Level-Packaged VOx microbolometer with 10μm x 10μm pixel size, making it the smallest available anywhere.

Pixart New Web Site

Pixart updated its web site making it much more useful. Now it has much more info about its products, including ones from Primesensor, Pixart subsidiary:

"PrimeSensor Technology Inc., part of the PixArt Group, is a professional CMOS Image Sensor chip design house and provider. The PrimeSensor company has been delivering high quality CMOS Image Sensors over 20 years to various industries, including Surveillance Security, Consumer Electronics and Automotive Camera."

Pixart also publishes a couple of new video demos including one with its gesture recognition module:

Monday, January 14, 2019

Sunday, January 13, 2019

1550nm LiDAR Damaged Sony Camera at CES

Arstechnica reports that a man who snapped Aeye LiDAR at CES claims that the 1550nm LiDAR permanently damaged his expensive Sony ILC camera. Every image he takes now has two bright spots with vertical and horizontal lines emanating from them (click and download the full resolution images to see the fine details):

AEye CEO Luis Dussan stressed that AEye lidars pose no danger to human eyes in an email to Arstechnica. But he didn't deny that AEye's lidars can cause damage to camera sensors. AEye has offered to buy a new camera instead of the damaged one.

"Cameras are up to 1000x more sensitive to lasers than eyeballs," Dussan wrote. "Occasionally, this can cause thermal damage to a camera's focal plane array."

The 1550nm LiDARs leverage the fact that this wavelength is absorbed in the eye before it reaches the retina, and dramatically increase the laser power. AEye is reported to use a powerful fiber laser. While remaining light safe, that high power apparently can damage image sensors inside cameras.

Thanks to TG for the link!