LG Innotek Joins Hands with Microsoft to Proliferate Cloud-Connected 3D Sensing Camera


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LG Innotek announced on 4th that it collaborates with Microsoft to unblock access to 3D vision technology and unleash innovation across multiple industry verticals such as: fitness, healthcare, logistics and retail with LG Innotek's ToF (Time of Flight) technology-based 3D camera modules and Microsoft's Azure Depth Platform. 

Locating the position of objects is an important aspect of scene analysis. Obtaining this information directly from a 3D ToF camera rather than inferring it from one or more 2D cameras simplifies the analysis and enhances robustness. 3D cameras are suitable for robust computer vision analysis with less computation for many commercial use cases. Yet, 3D camera design and manufacturing require special technology in illumination, strong sensor level understanding and optical design capability which is currently limited to very few camera module makers. 

LG Innotek has combined its superfine drive techniques and optical technologies to create high performance and ultra-slim multi-camera modules. The company has done so by its renowned product design, production capacity, state of the art quality control and technologies for core components such as light source and lens. With such capabilities, LG Innotek has secured a leadership position in the camera module and 3D sensing module markets for smartphones. 

Microsoft has over 20 years of experience in the 3D sensing field, spanning from pixel to chip, from modules to cameras, from algorithms to software, from characterization to calibration and manufacturing process tunning. This Microsoft 3D sensing knowhow was used to build Microsoft Hololens and Azure Kinect Devkit. The Azure Depth Platform program was created to proliferate Microsoft 3D sensing technology and drive large scale innovation via an ecosystem of Semiconductor, IHVs (Independent Hardware Vendors), ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) and SIs (System Integrators) building cameras, 3D vision software & cloud services and business customers. Combining Microsoft ToF depth sensing technology with the Azure Intelligent Edge and Intelligent cloud platforms is disrupting computer vision applications.

With this collaboration, the two companies will drive customer value to the Azure ecosystem across multiple industries. For example, LG Innotek's 3D ToF cameras can be used with Azure in fitness to more precisely measure motions. In healthcare, they can be used to measure patients' posture and body shape and conduct robot-assisted surgery. Partners in the retail or logistics industries can use the technology to manage inventory and analyze customer traffic. In factories, these cloud-connected cameras can monitor and analyze production lines to prevent accidents.

Daniel Bar, head of business incubation for the Silicon & Sensor's group at Microsoft, said, "LG Innotek brings world class manufacturing expertise in complex optoelectronic systems. We are excited to welcome LG Innotek to our ecosystem and accelerate time to market for 3D cameras. This is a key step towards providing easy access for computer vision developers to create 3D vision applications." 

Jongyun Eun, Head of the Optics Solution Product Planning Division at LG Innotek, said, "Microsoft's Azure Depth Platform program has selected LG Innotek as a scaling partner due to its leading-edge technologies and production capability. Our collaboration with Microsoft will enable LG Innotek to help ecosystem partners on new designs and expand the application areas of 3D sensing modules beyond smartphones."

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