New 3D image sensor developed
Published: 17 February 2012 - Rachael Morling
Following seven years of R&D, the lightweight and compact D-IMager 3D image sensor has been launched by Panasonic Electric Works.
This uses advanced, near-infrared LEDs to emit light into a given area, which is reflected by objects and detected by a charge-coupled device (CCD). When an object draws nearer or moves away, the delay between when the light is emitted and detected varies. By comparing image data on a pixel-by-pixel basis, the D-IMager ascertains changes in distance precisely and in real time.
Suitable for use under strong ambient light conditions, it can be used for applications from gesture-controlled digital games or remote control to building security.
The sensor has been used by Ford UK, with ten units employed in a campaign to promote the new C-MAX car. Created by digital production company Grand Visual, the campaign allows users to explore the car with natural body movements to choose the colour, open doors, fold seats, turn the car 360° and select demos of the car’s key features such as Active Park Assist.
Ford also placed large dual screens designed by outdoor advertising agency JC Decaux in selected shopping malls. Here, the user interface was based on natural movement and hand gestures that allowed any passerby to immediately start interacting with the screen content. D-IMager accurately produced a 3D image and Inition’s augmented reality software merged the lifelike footage with the Grand C-MAX on screen.
Panasonic Electric Works