Earlier this year, I reviewed a TOF sensor board based on STMicro VL52L0X Time-of-Flight ranging sensor that allows to measure distance accurately up to 2 meter using a 940 nm laser and a detection array with a few points to measure the time it takes for the light to travel and determine the distance.
VIVO has showcased a smartphone solution leveraging time-of-flight technology at Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018, but instead of using it for 2D measurements with a small detection array, their TOF 3D Sensing Technology creates 3D scans of objects using a whopping 300,000 sensor points.
The technology will enable features & applications such as facial, gesture and motion recognition, 3D photography and extended/augmented reality.
Vivo’s TOF 3D Sensing solution is said to deliver 10 times more depth of information than existing Structured Light Technology, for example used for FaceID in the latest iPhones. Vivo’s technology allows 3D mapping at up to three meters from the phone, and should be simpler and smaller in structure.
The company even claims TOF 3D Sensing Technology will be precise enough to capture entire objects using 3D modeling, and be used to scan lesson props for education, or scan critical parts of the body for medical purposes. We’ll have to see whether it will be suitable for 3D printing/copying, although for best results expensive 3D scanners may still be needed. I have to say though that the scans in the demo video look really neat. I had to use a special rig to achieve those results, but still.