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Panasonic unveils new 3D image sensor

Panasonic unveils new 3D image sensor

Panasonic Electric Works has unveiled a 3D image sensor, seven years in the making. The D-IMager uses advanced, near infrared leds to emit light into a given area which is reflected by objects and detected by a specially designed charge coupled device.

According to Panasonic, when an object draws near or moves away, the delay between when the light is emitted and detected varies. By comparing such image data on a pixel by pixel basis, the D-IMager is designed to ascertain changes in distance precisely and in real time. This is known as the Time of Flight principle.

This, says Panasonic, makes the D-IMager suitable for applications such as gesture controlled digital games, remote control and building security. The patented background light suppression also allows it to be used under strong ambient light conditions.

Ford has launched an outdoor augmented reality campaign using the sensor, with 10 units of D-IMager employed to promote its new C-MAX car. Users can explore Ford's Grand C-MAX with natural body movements, interact with the car, choose colours, open doors, fold seats, turn the car 360° and select demos of the car's features.

Chris Shaw

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