LG Innotek will begin the mass production of a new ToF (Time of Flight) module for smartphones, a high-tech 3D sensing component with a variety of exciting applications.
Unlike 2D-based technologies such as the touchpad, 3D sensing allows users to control various functions of their devices without actually touching them. The ToF module uses the return time of light particles shot towards specific objects to calculate distance, movement and other spatial information.
The LG Innotek module has a long range, consumes much less energy than other 3D technology, and features a slim design, making it ideal for smartphone integration.
A Variety Of Potential Applications
Among the potential applications of 3D sensing technology are biometric verification, artificial and virtual reality experience, motion sensing and various others.
The most exciting one, however, is its potential to replace touch technology and contribute to an even more user-centered digital experience.
A smartphone with 3D sensing technology will allow users to operate a wide range of functions without having to touch the device. The integrated 3D module will recognize hand and face movement and associate them to specific commands, thus requiring no touch input to control the smartphone.
An LG Innotek official explains: “The 3D sensing module is an innovative next-generation 3D-based input device that can take a mobile phone’s functionality to the next level from where it is currently with the use of existing 2D-based input technology like the touch technology. It will provide a new value proposition to consumers via integration with the camera.”
The first LG Electronics smartphone to feature this technology will be the LG G8 ThinQ, the company’s flagship device which is scheduled for launch on February 24.
3D Sensing Not Restricted To Smartphones
Similar technology can also be applied to PCs, home electronics, wearable devices, and has already been implemented in automobiles. The 2016 BMW 7 Series, for instance, features a 3D sensor allowing gesture control of the car’s digital interface.
According to global market research company Yole Dévelopment, the global market for 3D sensing and image processing technology is poised to see a 300% increase by 2022, up to $9 billion from the current $2.9 billion.
LG Innotek has also developed additional technology required by 3D sensing modules, including light source and lens technology. Combined with the company’s cutting-edge camera module research capabilities, the company can create a wide range of 3D sensing modules which can be customized for various applications.