Vivo has showcased its new Time of Flight (TOF) 3D sensing technology at the ongoing Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai, China. The 3D sensing technology from Vivo will rival Apple’s Face ID, which was introduced with the iPhone X. Vivo’s 3D sensing technology will be used facial recognition, gestures, motion recognition, AR, 3D photography, etc, claims the company, and comes with more advanced technology that what Apple offers with Face ID.
So how does Vivo’s TOF 3D sensing technology work?
It detects the time it takes for an emitted pulse light to return to the sensor, and then this is used to accurately map objects up to three meters in front of it. Vivo’s TOF 3D Sensing Technology has over 300,000 sensor points, which the company says is nearly 10 times more than the current Structure Light Technology. The latter is what powers Apple’s Face ID.
According to Vivo, TOF 3D technology will allow for more broader uses of this technology than just being used for facial recognition. Vivo plans on combining this technology with artificial intelligence (AI) for future applications. The new technology allows for 3D mapping at up to three meters from the phone, while having a smaller baseline than Structured Light, which is used by Apple.
The company also claims TOF allows for more flexibility when it is embedded in a smartphone. So the sensor will not be as heavy or jut out like the ones on the Apple iPhone X. Vivo says the technology has been tested and “meets industry standards required for integration with current apps soon.”
What are the possible use cases of Vivo’s TOF 3D sensing technology?
For now, TOF 3D Sensing Technology will be used in Facial recognition, but it can also be applied for entertainment as well. The technology will ensure an accurate tracking of gestures and movements of the user’s entire body, given the high number of sensors being used. It can also track gestures for mixed reality (MR) games and provide an entire new way for MR games, claims Vivo. The company also claims users will be able to scan and recreate entire objects digitally, thanks to the digital mapping feature.
“From last year’s debut of In-Display Fingerprint Scanning Technology, the recent launch of the truly bezel-less Vivo NEX, to our ground-breaking TOF 3D Sensing technology, we continue to forge ahead and evolve towards the truly intelligent future by opening new ways for the AI to help the consumer,” Alex Feng, Senior Vice President of Vivo said in a press statement.