Smartphones are getting smarter thanks to Corning Precision Glass Solutions
The mobile phone of the future depends on glass. But next-gen devices are getting even smarter thanks to cutting-edge imaging technology that senses a phone’s environment in three dimensions. Corning Precision Glass Solutions enables this technology. Here’s how.
How does 3D sensing work?
There are two main technologies that power 3D sensing applications: Time of Flight and Structured Light Illumination (SLI).
In Time of Flight, an infrared strobe emits a bright, short pulse, and a custom detector with a very fast shutter speed measures the time that the light travels before hitting an object.
In SLI, a specific pattern of infrared light is projected onto an object. The light pattern bends to match the inconsistencies in the surface of that object. A camera with an infrared filter observes the distortion of that pattern. In other words, Time of Flight directly measures the time that light travels, while SLI utilizes the distortion of a known pattern of infrared light to calculate the distance to an object.
Why does that difference matter? Time of Flight-based 3D sensing systems typically generate lower resolution images due to heat generation and packing density. They also typically require higher power consumption to operate the shutter.
SLI-based systems enable higher accuracy imaging because of the higher spatial resolutions of the projected patterns. SLI also results in lower power consumption – enabling more precise 3D sensing applications such as facial recognition, while conserving battery life.