Friday, December 11, 2009

Optrima Forms 3D Technology Alliances

This is a news from about a month ago, I missed it at the time. There appears to be a 3D imaging alliance between Belgim-based Optrima, Melexis, Softkinetic and the US Texas Instruments.

Optrima is a Vrije University of Brussels spin-off pursuing 3D TOF hardware, including 3D TOF sensors, cameras and platforms. Optrima was founded in April 2009. It appears there is an alliance between Melexis and Optrima on automotive 3D sensors. The two companies presented 3D TOF embedded camera for automotive applications at 2009 International Automotive Electronic Congress on November 17-18 in Paris.

On the gesture recognition front Optrima formed a joint venture with Softkinetic, a provider of software for gesture recognition. Softkinetic-Optrima venture offers two ToF cameras together with SDK.

The newly formed JV announced a collaboration with TI to design, develop and market joint 3D imaging solutions for the television, personal computers, digital signage, health & fitness, industrial, robotics, automotive, security and many others markets.

Recently Softkinetic also announced support for Panasonic 3D cameras - an indication that Panasonic is getting serious about ToF sensors. “The new 3D Image Sensor is the result of years of development and improvements at Panasonic that led to our background light suppression technology. Panasonic’s sensor has very competitive specifications, and is perfectly fit for all the out-of-home digital applications,” said Mr. Yuji Takada, General Manager, Research & Development Center at Panasonic Electric Works.


  1. Congratulations to prof. Maarten Kuijk of University of Brussels. His group first realized a successful spin-off EqcoLogic and now Optrima. A.T.

  2. Optrima uses a current based approach, leading to high power consumption and higher noise compared to PMDTec or Canesta. And Optrima has problems with patents from IC-Haus - we will see how this ends up. Messa in Switzerland can't compete with all of them due to their non-standard technology approach.

  3. What about Panasonic? Does it infringe on somebody's patents too?

  4. Hard to say... but I believe that they do the same that MESA is doing. A few years aga, they presented a MESA-like camera incl. their own 3D-chip... so I exoect them to copy MESA'a approach. Overall the Panasonic chip performance is pretty week, as far as our tests show today.


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