Saturday, March 28, 2015

Night Vision Eye Drops

Engadget, Business Insider, Newsweek: The same group Science for the Masses that has shown the human vision extension to IR, now publishes another experiment showing night vision improvement with eyedrops. The group used Chlorin e6 cancer treatment substance mixed with insulin for their experiment. They claim that the eyedrops significantly enhance night time vision at distances up to 50 meters for a time of few hours.

The experimenter, Gabriel Licina describes his feelings "It’s subtle. It’s not like ‘oh my gosh I have super vision!’ It’s more like dark became dim, everything was a little brighter. Not a crazy noticeable light, burning and doom, but more a subtle, ‘oh I can see a thing!"

The adverse effects of the proposed solution have not been studied.

Friday, March 27, 2015

SPIE Award for Seek Thermal Camera

SPIE has published a video of its Prizm Award ceremony for Seek Thermal & Raytheon consumer-grade thermal camera, a competitor of FLIR One:

One can see a teardown of Seek Thermal camera and its comparison with FLIR One in mikeselectricstuff videos: Part 1 and Part 2, as well as the analysis of its thermal gradient artifacts.

Point Grey Comments on Sony CCD Line Closure

Point Grey confirms that Sony will discontinue operations of their CCD 200mm wafer line at Kagoshima Technology Center in Japan by the end of March 2017. This line is responsible for production of all Sony CCD image sensors used in Point Grey cameras. Point Grey did not confirm exact last-time buy (LTB) or last-time ship (LTS) dates for the affected CCDs, commenting that recently publicized dates of August 2015 and March 2020, respectively, should not be considered final. “Point Grey has been actively discussing details about the closure directly with Sony,” said Michael Gibbons, Director of Sales and Marketing at Point Grey. “This is a very dynamic situation and final details, including official last-time buy and ship dates, have not yet been released publicly by Sony. We caution our customers against making quick decisions based on preliminary information circulating the Internet.

Point Grey continues to see high and growing demand worldwide for both CCD and CMOS sensor technology, and believes that CCD technology will continue to play an important part in the imaging world for many years to come. “Our goal is to provide customers with three options,” said Gibbons. “First is to continue to buy their existing Sony CCD-based cameras for the natural lifespan of the systems they’re designed into. If customers are happy with these products there is no need to change. For those customers who still prefer CCD technology but want to explore alternatives to Sony, we are actively adding new CCDs from suppliers such as Sharp into our camera lineup. And finally, for those customers interested in the benefits of CMOS technology, we will continue to lead the charge in integrating image sensors from companies like Sony and On Semi into our products.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Xintec to List on Taiwan Stock Market

Digitimes: Image sensor wafer-level packaging house Xintec will be listed on the Taiwan over-the-counter (OTC) stock market at the end of March. Xintec is a TSMC and Visera affiliate and reported revenues of NT$4.93 billion (US$158M) for 2014. The company presentation gives some background info:

ST ToF Proximity Sensor Presentation

ST publishes a recorded video of its Google Hangout session on VL6180X ToF-based 3-in-1 proximity, gesture and ambient light sensor. The session took place today at 4:00 CET.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ziptronix Stacked Sensor Technology Presentation

Ziptronix kindly sent me its CTO and VP R&D Paul Enquist's presentation at 2015 Image Sensors Conference held last week in London, UK. Few key slides from the presentation:

Forza Selects Silicon Frontline's IR Drop and Resistance Mapping Tool

Marketwired: Silicon Frontline Technology announces that Forza Silicon has selected the company's P2P (IR Drop and Resistance Mapping) for fast, early IR Drop analysis and full-chip verification of their CMOS image sensors.
"Forza Silicon is focused on providing customers with cutting-edge image sensor solutions and we have stringent verification requirements in order to deliver high quality imagers," said Kevin Johnson, CAD Manager at Forza Silicon. "We selected Silicon Frontline's P2P to perform full-chip powernet analysis of our CMOS image sensors designs because it meets our accuracy, speed and quality standards."

Resistance Mapping may be performed at any point in the design cycle, allowing early identification and fixes of problem areas. This ensures detailed IR drop and electromigration analysis is performed with a good candidate design, providing faster time to design closure and earlier market entry.

Tobii Plans IPO

Eye tracking camera and software maker Tobii plans IPO on Nasdaq Stockholm, Sweden. However, this news is forbidden to distribute in the USA, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. Everybody can get more details following the link after the declaration that he's not citizen or resident of the above countries.

The company has been founded in 2001 and now has 600 employees in Sweden, USA, China, Japan, Germany, UK, and Norway. Its 2014 annual turnover is 621M SEK ($73M).

Tobii PCEye Explore entry level eye tracker

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ricoh Pixel Shift Exploits Bayer CFA Properties

Imaging Resource: Ricoh reveals pixel shift technology which utilizes Bayer pattern properties to minimize the interpolation artifacts: "Ricoh's special pixel-shift enhancement mode involves shifting the sensor in one-pixel increments up and down and back and forth, so after four exposures, each pixel contains full RGB data. The end image has the same number of megapixels as the sensor itself, but the data is of much higher quality, with no interpolation needed to "fill in" missing color or luminance information."

Monday, March 23, 2015

Biometrics News

Fujitsu presents smartphone prototype with iris authentication. The active LED and camera system has been exhibited at the MWC 2015 and received the "Best Innovation Award" from AndroidPIT:

Fujitsu Youtube video in Japanese promotes the iris ID system:

In another news, the oncoming Microsoft Windows 10 features Hello component: "Windows Hello will make Windows 10 more personal by providing instant access to your devices through biometric authentication – using your face, iris or fingerprint to unlock your devices – with technology that is significantly safer than traditional passwords. We’re working closely with our hardware partners to deliver Windows Hello-capable devices that will ship with Windows 10. We are thrilled that all OEM systems incorporating the Intel RealSense F200 sensor will fully support Windows Hello, including automatic sign-in to Windows."

"For facial or iris detection, Windows Hello uses a combination of special hardware and software to accurately verify it is you – not a picture of you or someone trying to impersonate you. The cameras use infrared technology to identify your face or iris and can recognize you in a variety of lighting conditions."

The company Youtube video explains its use cases: