Microsoft ties up with LG Innotek to develop 3D sensing component for cloud platform

By Lim Chang-won Posted : March 8, 2021, 10:30 Updated : March 8, 2021, 10:31

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- LG Innotek, a key producer of high-performance cameras, will develop and supply a 3D sensing component for Azure, a cloud computing service created by Microsoft that has strengthened service models through a combination of 3D cameras and cloud platforms. Mass-production is to begin in the second half of this year.

Under a memorandum of understanding with Microsoft, LG Innotek said it would develop time of flight (ToF) modules for Azure platforms. A ToF module is a key part of 3D sensing cameras. Installed in smartphones or wearable devices, it can implement biometric authentication, behavior recognition, augmented and virtual reality functions.

3D sensing technology mimics the human visual system using optical technology, which facilitates the emergence and integration of augmented reality, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things. 3D cameras are suitable for robust computer vision analysis, but their design and manufacturing require special technology in illumination, strong sensor level understanding and optical design capability.

A ToF sensor uses the flight time of light to measure distances to objects. As well as being able to turn captured images into 3D images, it can also measure at a speed of 20 frames per second, allowing it to track the movement of objects three-dimensionally.

LG Innotek said that 3D ToF cameras can be used with Azure in fitness to more precisely measure motions while they can be used to measure the posture and body shape of patients in healthcare and conduct robot-assisted surgery. Partners in the retail or logistics industries can use the technology to manage inventory and analyze customer traffic. cloud-connected cameras can monitor and analyze production lines to prevent accidents in factories.

LG Innotek and Microsoft would drive customer value to an Azure ecosystem across multiple industries. "This is a key step towards providing easy access for computer vision developers to create 3D vision applications," Daniel Bar, head of business incubation for Microsoft's Silicon & Sensor’s group, said in a statement on March 8.

LG Innotek has produced 3D sensing modules that detect movement and measure distances to meet the global demand for special sensors for smartphones and smart devices. "Our collaboration with Microsoft will enable LG Innotek to help ecosystem partners on new designs and expand the application areas of 3D sensing modules beyond smartphones," said Eun Jong-yun, head of LG Innotek's optics solution product planning division.
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