Friday, March 05, 2010

PMD 3D USB-Camera Demo

PMD Technologies published a YouTube demo of its USB-powered 3D ToF camera:

Update: There is another USB-powered ToF camera from Mesa Imaging/CSEM. The camera size is just 4x4x3 cm^3. To achieve low power consumption it uses a higher modulation frequency of 80MHz. The camera prototype provides resolution of 7mm (std dev) at 1m and 3mm (std dev) at shorter distances.


  1. I always thought, that 3D ToF is limited in terms of distance range and power comsumption... and thus will not go into high numbers, but PMDTec proves that their 3D technology really seems to overcome many of my concerns. I saw a PMD test car lately, showing that they can work in full sunlight up to at least 50 meters to detect pedsestrians, and now this... really impressive! Pat

  2. This video shows the leadership position of PMD in comparison to also other ToF technologies!
    Very imprssive!! Thierry

  3. But can it detect the fingers of a pedestrian at 50 meters in direct sunlight from an auto traveling at 100 km/h? Is so, that is impressive!

  4. That is amazing. Hard to believe that could be done with ordinary webcam optics and a USB powered LED source. Actually, I don't believe that.

    On the other hand, TOF using LIDAR is well known to work. But that is a very bright light source, fast optics, and not a $10 BoM.

    I'd be interested to hear more about the 50m system if anyone knows more about its configuration.

  5. Acutally there is another camera demonstrating the miniaturization and power reduction capabilities of the time-of-flight imaging technology ( Thus I doubt very much that this movie from PMD can prove any leadership in TOF technology. It is just a nice demonstration of the TOF capabilities, ... and it's really nice.

  6. it's amazing that you can deduce the distance from the grayscale image ! Toshiba has made one like this so many year for gaming ...

    But detecting a person 50m away needs a lot of power. This system, not like a LIDAR, uses a diffused source, so energy is diffused on the whole scene. It should at least overcome the shot noise from the Sunshine, right ?


All comments are moderated to avoid spam and personal attacks.