Could Your Smartphone Soon Have a 3D Scanner?

/ 6 years ago

nanophotonic coherent imager

A new camera sensor designed at CalTech by researchers Professor Ali  Hajimiri may soon enable smartphones to take 3D scans. The new chip is called a nanophotonic coherent imager, and uses a form of LIDAR to capture height, width, and depth information for each pixel.

Professor Hajimiri explains “by having an array of tiny LIDARs on our coherent imager, we can simultaneously image different parts of an object or a scene without the need for any mechanical movements within the imager.”

The researchers have taken the expensive high-tech LIDAR and distilled it to a very small and inexpensive device that can maintain accuracy. They still have a bit of work on their hands though as the current chip only has 16 pixels on it and they will need to create a larger array on a chip to be able to scan items without moving the device around.

Source: The Verge

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