3D depth imagers are being used more and more, but falling short of their potential. Yes, they are deployed as scanners in high end iPhones and AR/VR sets, and as LiDARs in luxury cars. They're also being used professionally, such as by architects and engineers.
And yet, more widespread adoption of depth imagers is at a crossroad. Increasing productivity, so imagers can scan wider or detect over longer ranges, has required raising laser power. But that would drive up their cost prohibitively. Conversely, imagers could be made less expensive, by employing skimpier lasers, but that would just make them even less useful.
The solution is not in the laser, but can be in the imager’s optics, which are much less expensive. The job of the optics is to shape the laser’s beam, so it is matched to the Field of View being mapped. For the scanner, the optics need to diffuse the narrow beam over a wide area. For an automotive LiDAR, the optics must collect the laser's photons that are being reflected back and focus the photons onto the imager's sensor. Unfortunately, the optics that have been available for depth imagers are simply not up to these tasks.
Our optics meet these challenges. We’ve developed an advanced optical technology specifically for 3D depth imaging. For a 3D scanner, our optics can widen the Field of View by 40%; for an automotive LiDAR, they can double detection range. Alternatively, in cases where the performance of today’s imagers is good enough, then our optics can be used to save money on laser power, driving down imager cost by a third, or more. Our customers are excited about the ways that our optics can make their depth imagers more powerful and productive. That's remarkable.
Norcon co-founders on how Polycalc lenses enable reducing the laser power in LiDARs and other depth imagers. Lower power means lower cost, making highway Advanced Driving Assistance Systems more affordable.