Wednesday, November 02, 2016

End of Pelican Imaging

Tessera has acquired the technology assets and substantial patent portfolio of Pelican Imaging Corporation. The addition will enable Tessera, through its FotoNation subsidiary, to accelerate development of computational imaging solutions for use in next generation applications and devices.

"This acquisition shows our commitment to further invest in strategically building our growing portfolio of multi-camera and smart imaging solutions," said Tom Lacey, CEO of Tessera. "We will integrate Pelican's advanced imaging technologies and engineering talent with FotoNation, to accelerate the development of deeper and more feature-rich solutions to capitalize on the growing demand for these technologies."

An email I received says [this part is removed on request].

23 comments:

  1. Does anyone know any other companies which make similar devices? I want to experiment with a sensor that can produce realtime depth maps from microscopic objects. It's a kind of microscopic metrology application. Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks.

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    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJ1B7gum5iE

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    2. Sky walker: thanks for the link. I think that video was just a technology demonstration. I checked their website and they don't seem to have a sensor for sale. In fact their roadmap suggests this sensor may perhaps be available in the future but I wont hold my breath. There is something about this array sensor technology which seems to indicate that it cant really do 3D sensing very well. Thats probably why Pelican failed and LIPS dont yet have a product.
      Anonymous: thanks for the duo3d link but their device does not seem suitable for real time microscopic metrology. I think I will have to use a conventioanal sensor and a depth map algorithm. The device I want just doesn't exist.

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    3. for microscopy, real-time 3d shape metrology, try:
      http://www.doptron.com/dholoscope.html

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    4. I never understood why Pelican (and Lights for similar reason) fails to show a salable design. Why can they show a trade-off on designs with fewer cameras and what gives?

      Linx imaging uses 2x1 or 2x2 that are easier to manage and have a better chance of succeeding.

      when the cameras are individually so different from the one used in conventional design, they need to address many issues.

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    5. Anonymous: Thanks for the doptron link, much appreciated. Their technology is amazing and the pictures look superb. However, what I really want is a fast 3D sensor, not a complete camera solution. I want to design my own supporting electronics and integrate it im my application. Thanks again.

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  2. While I was not optimistic about the technology being adopted by mainstream camera phone makers, I thought it was interesting and innovative, and I had hoped they would find a niche where they could survive.

    It just goes to further show that if you want to displace an incumbent technology, the new technology has to be compelling in its advantages, not just interesting, or just better, in at least one niche application if not across the board.


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    1. pelican's technology was never that good. i think this failure isn't technology. it's engineering.

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    2. I disagree. How can you judge engineering? I agree with Eric. It was an interesting technology but incumbent proved too strong.

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    3. The technology was (is) good and it was delivering acceptable results for a niche. However, Pelican needed to move fast or decided to move in mainstream direction(s). There was no time for Pelican to wait untill technology can be accepted for implementation in a "niche". As an example, when a "niche" wanted to have 10-100 modules for development, Pelican has already moved forward and discontinued a product acceptable for the "niche". I think it is just bad luck. (?)

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  3. Not surprising at all given their extravagant marketing claims that violated the laws of physics (at least those governing super resolution).

    How much money did they burn though?

    Next up... Invisage.

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  4. Fraunhofer Institute abandon using the tech for mobile phones and is looking at it for microscopes now.

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    1. Do you happen to know a possible contact at Fraunhofer for this?

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    2. Hello, I have the same question: "Could you please provie a contact at Fraunhofer"? Thank you in advance!

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    3. Andreas Brueckner is the right person to contact at Fraunhofer IOF in Jena, Germany.

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  5. Thanks Lennart for the Raytrix tip. Their camera is interesting and the depth maps look amazing but @7fps its way too slow for my application. I also suspect that the camera costs $$$$$ which is more than I have to experiment with. This is 2016. Why can't I buy a cheap image sensor which can produce depth maps at a decent frame rate? This looked really promising but seems to have gone dead: https://www.caltech.edu/news/new-camera-chip-provides-superfine-3-d-resolution-46425
    When will this sort of device materialize?

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  6. I think they spent 50 or more millions. I have no idea what for. Most of it probably marketing. Don't the investors have any vision?

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    1. Simple. If there are 25 employees in average over 8 years, with an average pay of $120k each, and a 2X factor to include the overhead, the estimated expense is $48M. Just the human resources alone ...

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  7. It's sad to see Pelican Going to the wall

    Kartik and the team were very good to us and to be honest we wouldn't be where we are if not for their introduction to Motorola ATAP

    -David

    David Moloney, CTO Movidius

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    1. @David, FotoNation team is excited to join hands with Kartik and team to bring technology into production. Hope to work together with your team again for bigger and brighter opportunities....

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