Six months ago Fotonic launched three new 3D cameras; two new types of time-of-flight cameras and a structured light camera. One of the cameras, the F-series, is the first on the market that provides precise matching of colour and depth in each pixel.
“It is a unique product and it will be interesting to see how it will be used. We can already see some applications, but as always we will come across people who think along completely different lines and find new uses”, says Emil Hällstig, research manager at Fotonic.
Looking at how usage of the cameras is changing, Hällstig notes a development where 3D signal processing and image processing are beginning to merge.
“There is a lot to gain from positioning, tracking and recognition of objects. Image processing and 3D used to be two quite different fields, but now we see a general trend of them beginning to merge and benefit from each other. There are many 3D-applications that can be even better with colour data, and vice versa.”
The F-series is based on the same measurement principle as Fotonic’s other time-of-flight cameras, but is equipped with a new sensor with higher resolution. It also has an adjusted filter on the sensor chip that makes it possible to simultaneously collect data in both colour and 3D – and with high performance too.
The new sensor has VGA resolution which provides colour images in 640×480 pixels and distance data in 320×240 pixels. The camera has a frame rate of 20 fps, and like all Fotonic cameras, it is both robust and compact, thereby able to withstand harsh environments.
“Our development work has been extensive and it feels really good to make this product available on the market. We are offering a new tool and it will be interesting to see how it will take advantage of the new features and how they will use these in various applications.”