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Sony ramps up 3D sensor production after interest from phone makers | Report

03 January 2019 3

Depth data captured with Sony’s 3D technology.

Sony is reportedly ramping up the production of the next-generation 3D sensors after seeing the interest of the customers including Apple. Sony that controls about half of the camera chip market will develop the 3D camera chips for the front and rear-facing models of smartphones and it already has some potential customers for the use.

According to Satoshi Yoshihara, head of Sony’s sensor division, the mass production will kick off in late summer so as to meet the demand. He has declined to comment on the production targets but names like Huawei and Apple have been highlighted in the report, with whom Sony is in talks already. However, Yoshihara declined to comment on more such potential customers that will make use of its 3D chips.

Demonstration using a custom phone with a 3D camera

Sony has a bullish outlook for its 3D cameras as it believes the 3D business is already performing good and will definitely make an impact on earnings from the fiscal year starting in April.

Sony has even started providing software toolkits to outside developers so they can experiment with the chips and create apps that generate models in the related field.

While giving some insights on the company’s 3D camera chips, Yoshihara talked about the difference between the approaches of the existing and their new chips. According to Yoshihara, ‘structural light’ approach of the existing chips limit in terms of accuracy and distance as well. But Sony’s 3D camera chips use ‘time of flight’ that “sends out invisible laser pulses and measures how long they take to bounce back, which he said creates more detailed 3D models and works at distances of five meters.” This would be helpful in mobile gaming, which involves virtual characters that interact with and navigate in real-world environments.


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Sony ramps up 3D sensor production after interest from phone makers | Report
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