Thursday, June 07, 2012

SoftKinetic Announces Small HD Gesture Recognition Camera

Engadget, Hexus: SoftKinetic announces what it calls the world's smallest HD gesture recognition camera. The DepthSense 325 (DS325) is a pocket-sized camera that sees both in 3D (depth) and HD 2D (color). The DS325 can operate from as close as 10cm and includes a high-resolution depth sensor with a wide field of view, combined with HD video and dual microphones. The DS325 Professional Kit is available for pre-order now at SoftKinetic's online store at $249 with worldwide shipping included and is expected to begin shipping in the coming weeks.


A Youtube video from Taipei, Taiwan Computex shows the new camera in action:

22 comments:

  1. This is basically Kinect. What is special with this one??

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  2. Kinect's depth sensing is based on structured light, while Softkinetic's one is ToF-based.

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  3. great news times to ask for gift from parents :D

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  4. Vladimir, are you sure of what you state? Where is the light source on this device??

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  5. Its a known fact that SK is a ToF based camera vendor.

    the HD moniker is a bit misleading since their depth sensor has a QVGA resolution (which is impressive on its on for a ToF sensor)and since its a USB2 based peripheral it might be also an HD webcam.

    The light source is hidden behind the dark cover from both sides of the cameras and its probably laser based.

    BTW - note the latency on this one,might be a killer.

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    1. Where do they say that the DS325 ToF sensor is a QVGA? I couldn't find any information about the resolution in Softkinetic website, and the previous version (DS311) is a 160x120.

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    2. Here's the SK webpage with some details: http://www.softkinetic.com/en-us/solutions/depthsensecameras.aspx

      Tim

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  6. But it can not been on the video. If they use 808nm laser, it's visible on the video.

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  7. regular RGB cameras have IR cut filter ~<750nm so an 808nm won't be seen. besides who says they are using a 808? the Kinect\Primesense for example are using a 830nm diode.

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  9. This may seem like an odd comment, but I wonder if this uses the Samsung QVGA sensor? (Products come out of another division). I am not even sure who else offers a QVGA sensor for the open market.

    I think Soft Kinetic did software interfaces for other range sensors. I wonder if this in-house product will affect their other customers?

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    1. Eric, the DS325 uses SoftKinetic's in-house QVGA TOF depth sensor. We also offer a QQVGA TOF depth sensor and sell a commercial QQVGA+RGB VGA+2 mics camera (DS311). And yes, we offer iisu, our gesture middleware for our cameras and other depth camera suppliers.

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    2. Thanks for the info Tim. Kind of a dicey business plan in my mind but as long as you have the best software (Middleware) then I guess it works. Otherwise, you are competing with your customers.

      What are the specs on the sensor? (pixel size, freq, DC, etc. - like those published by other people working of TOF sensors)

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    3. Eric, SoftKinetic's business spans TOF sensors, cameras, iisu middleware and apps through SoftKinetic Studios. We've grown supporting multiple platforms and have been successful in each leg.

      As for sensor specs, stay tuned...we'll have specs shortly.

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  10. does anybody know about the resolution and pixelsize of the 3d imager they use?

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  11. A lot of gesture control devices annonced these days. But what are the typical applications of such devices ? Personaly when I work with desktop, keyboard and mouse are enough, when I play with iPad, the touch screen is OK, when I watch the TV, remote control is perfect. I've some difficulty to imagine the applications of such device on existing home based apparatus.

    The only thing interests me is public signaletics, but are these devices capable to operate outdoor ?

    What are your opinions ?

    -yang ni

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  12. I agree with the sufficiency comments in your first paragraph.

    One new-product possibility would be augmented-reality eyewear. The imager would be mounted on the frame looking just in front of the user. Hand gestures could be used to interact with the lens display and the user wouldn't have to carry around a separate device. Of course, the imager as shown is too bulky for eyewear, so there's plenty of justification for more development spending.

    On that note, the big contribution is probably keeping a bunch corporate/government/university engineers happily rolling in research money. There's not many folks here who'd complain about that!

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  13. "a bunch of"

    Thank you, not-very-efficient keyboard substitute...

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  14. @CDM, a small touchpad on the eyewear will be much more efficient and user friendly. I think that Liteye uses this concept on their products. Any suggestion please ??

    -yang ni

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  15. Yang, I tend to agree with your comments. I had the same feeling about putting cameras in phones. I thought it was a fun idea but I had no idea it would become as widespread and as high quality as camera phones are today. For gesture control, only time will tell. I would not mind replacing my universal remote with gesture control. Still, I am not convinced that this is a killer app. Sometimes these things are generational. Something that seems useless to the older generation (that includes me, you, CDM, and most others here)because we are content with current technology is adopted first by younger people. Eventually we old farts become assimilated, or left out.

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  16. Eric, I understand fully your analogy to mobile phone camera ! To be honest, at that time when I read market survey predicting the explosion of mobile phone camera, I didn't belive it. I didn't belive it not because we didn't need it, I didn't belive it because of the poor image quality at that time. You are right to say that "market force is so strong and can make impossible true".

    But concerning human-machine interface, I have a feeling that things are different. Because the interface can not bring any fun by itself, what is funny is the content to which you interact. Mobile phone is funny and it can bring all kind of surprise, souvenir, sentiment, breaking news to communicate, to share. And this very human instinct has been enhanced by all the new media such twitter, facebook, etc ...

    But interface alone can not bring any fun. I remember when I saw the first optic mouse from Logitech, I was just enthousiast for several hours not because it was funny but because I would like to know what chip was used inside :)

    Just some very personnal feeling to share ...

    -yang ni

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  17. I imagine giving the small size there will be many many alternate uses for it beside gesture recognition, much like what happened with Kinect. A lot of people bought them with no intention of using them for gaming.

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