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Get to know the ToF technology that makes your mobile camera more sophisticated

Camera manufacturers are currently introducing ToF (Time-of-Flight) technology on their cameras. This is the latest cellphone camera trend after multi cameras, selfie on screen cameras, and folding phones.

ToF technology is expected to be the next trend.

Currently Oppo and Huawei, Honor have used this technology. Apple is also expected to use similar technology for their cellphones that will come out in 2020.

The ToF camera uses infrared light, a red laser that is visible to the human eye. This beam is used to determine the depth of the scanned object.

Ways of working

The infrared sensor will be thrown at the object and reflected. The time needed for light to be reflected back to the sensor will help the software determine the distance, shape, and measure the volume of the object in front of it. After distance data is collected, the right algorithm features can be identified. The infrared ray released is 850 nanometers so it is not visible to the eye, as quoted by Digit.in.

Compared to other three-dimensional scans, ToF technology is the cheapest. This sensor can capture up to 160 frames per second (fps), so it can be used for applications that require real time speed. In addition, this sensor only requires a small processing power.

ToF sensor function

This technology can be used for indoor navigation, helping when using augmented reality (AR), object avoidance, movement recognition, object tracking, and as a reactive altimeter.

For cameras, this sensor can also help when users use bokeh mode which can blur the background. But the level of accuracy depends on the software used to read data from the sensor.

This sensor can also be used to help object recognition and determine focus in low light conditions. Because, now the camera sensor determines the position of the camera's focus on the object depending on the light conditions.

Old technology

This technology is actually not new. Many companies have used these sensors in the past ten years. Microsoft uses this technology on LIDAR sensors in second generation Kinect. Huawei also uses this sensor on Honor View 20. Oppo RX 17 Pro also uses this technology.

LIDAR which is popular in autonomous car technology usually also uses ToF sensors. This technology is also adapted to drones.

Sensor maker

Sony is one of the companies that makes toga sensor dimensions with ToF technology. Other ToF sensor makers are AMS / Heptagon, ASC TigerCub, TeraRanger One, Riegl, Lucid / Helios, and AdaFruit, as quoted by Pocket Lint.