“The end result will be a Structured Light Module (or ‘SLiM’) that can bring low-power depth sensing capabilities to a range of applications including AR and VR, and facial recognition.”
Qualcomm has teamed up with fabless semiconductor company Himax to further advance its 3D depth sensing technologies.
The news comes just a couple of weeks after Qualcomm announced new camera modules in its Spectra line, including two for depth sensing functionality. With its new Himax partnership, the company’s Spectra technologies will be combined with “Himax’s complementary technologies in wafer optics, sensing, driver, and module integration capabilities”, according to a statement announcing the collaboration. The end result will be a Structured Light Module (or ‘SLiM’) that can bring low-power depth sensing capabilities to a range of applications including AR and VR, and facial recognition.
The effort points to the growing importance of building sophisticated biometric capabilities directly into device hardware. Numerous OEMs could be interested in modules enabling 3D facial recognition if Apple’s iPhone 8 succeeds in popularizing the technology for user authentication; meanwhile, another of the Spectra modules announced by Qualcomm in mid-August enables iris recognition, which Samsung’s new smartphones are currently helping to popularize.
Qualcomm and Himax say their SLiM 3D camera solution will have applications across “mobile, IoT, surveillance, automotive and AR/VR”, and they’re aiming to have it in mass production in Q1 of 2018.