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3D image sensor ascertains changes in distance precisely and in real time

17 January 2012

Following seven years of research and development, Panasonic Electric Works can now unveil its D-IMager 3D image sensor. This uses advanced, near-infrared LEDs to emit light into a given area, which is reflected by objects and detected by a specially designed charge-coupled device (CCD). When an object draws nearer or moves away, the delay between when the light is emitted and detected varies.

By comparing such image data on a pixel-by-pixel basis, the D-IMager ascertains changes in distance precisely and in real time.

Processing such 3D data and sensing motion accurately makes the D-IMager perfect for a wide range of applications, from gesture-controlled digital games to remote control to building security. Panasonic’s patented background light suppression allows the D-IMager to be used even under strong ambient light conditions.

 Safe and non-invasive
Uses near-infrared LEDs and specially designed CCDs
 Excellent distance data resolution
Large field of view, perfect for detecting motion everywhere within a relatively large area
 Selectable frame rates
15, 20, 25, 30 frames/sec. modes available
 Attractive design
Impressively small, light and compact

Case Study
Ford of the United Kingdom has launched an outdoor augmented reality campaign using Panasonic’s D-IMager. Ten D-IMager units are employed to promote the new Ford family car “C-MAX” in the UK.

The campaign, created by a digital production company Grand Visual, allows users to explore Ford’s Grand C-MAX with natural body movements. Users can interact with the car, choose color, open doors, fold seats, turn the car 360° and select demos of the car’s key features such as Active Park Assist.
Ford also placed large dual screens designed by the international outdoor advertising agency JC Decaux in selected shopping malls for a duration of 2 weeks. This was UK’s first ever outdoor augmented reality campaign using 3D depth imaging technology. Rather than using a marker or symbol as point of reference for interaction, the user interface was based on natural movement and hand gestures that allowed any passerby to immediately start interacting with the screen content.

D-IMager accurately produced a 3D image and Inition’s augmented reality software merged the lifelike footage with the Grand C-MAX on screen.

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