3D cameras are evolving in the ecosystem, and smartphones are likely to benefit from their lowering cost in the near future. Researchers have developed a low-cost version of 3D cameras with Lidar technology that can be equipped to smartphones.
We’ve already seen what Lidar cameras can offer, thanks to Apple using the technology for its iPhone 13 Pro models, which also enhances the reliability of the TrueDepth camera used for Face ID scanning. And soon, most regular smartphones will be able to offer features similar to the premium devices.
The researchers at Stanford University are working on the prospect of image sensors able to measure distances with the use of light, something that a Lidar tech helps with developing 3D images. Lidar’s use on the camera sensor also plays a big role in improving the overall quality of night or low-light photography.
But unlike the feature used by Apple, which is expensive, these researchers are focusing on creating a low-cost sensor that does more or less the same thing.
Offering an affordable solution means more phone manufacturers can plan on using the technology for products that masses can buy. Integrating the Lidar to a normal sensor is a challenge but these researchers are looking to crack the code and make it work through the regular camera sensors, which carry high megapixel count, and they believe the lidar range will increase when the sensor size has gone up.
In addition to the lidar performance for 3D imaging, this camera also enhances the overall security of the device through biometric. So, it is possible that this low-cost lidar sensor could democratise Face ID-like security for other smartphones, which invariably gives a refreshing design outlook for phone makers.
We are eager to see if this tech moves beyond the research labs, and makes its way to the end product anytime soon.