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NIR sensor targets AR/VR eye-tracking, facial ID security

30 May 2019

OmniVision’s new camera module, with wafer-level optics and low power consumption, is suited to headsets.

OmniVision Technologies, Santa Clara, California, a developer of digital imaging solutions, has launched its OVM7251 CameraCubeChip module – a near infrared sensor designed for the AR/VR eye-tracking, and facial recognition security markets.

Built on the company’s 3 micron OmniPixel 3-GS global shutter architecture, the OVM7251 offers designers “a small form factor, low power consumption and cost effective 640x480 VGA resolution camera module,” states the new camera’s specification.

The module is available in two versions: an 850nm model for AR/VR eye tracking, and a 940nm model for machine vision and 3D sensing in mobile facial authentication.

Aaron Chiang, marketing director at OmniVision, commented, "Until now, most camera modules for these applications have been built with rolling shutters, which have latency issues. Meanwhile, global shutter modules have previously been too large and expensive. The new OVM7251 overcomes these challenges by providing a cost effective VGA module with global shutter performance in a wafer-level, reflowable form factor."

The new module’s sleep current consumption is 5mA, and during active mode, its global shutter enables rapid image capture. This combination can result in extended battery life for a broad range of applications, such as head-mounted displays for AR/VR, facial authentication in smart phones, and machine vision for factory automation, barcode readers and robot vacuum cleaners, says the company.

Smart view

Additionally, by using the OVM7251 for eye tracking in AR/VR headsets, designers could further reduce power consumption by programming the system to only process the display areas where users are currently looking, instead of the entire image.

The new modules are also said to reduce design time by integrating the image sensors, processor and lenses in a miniature wafer-level, reflowable chip-scale package. The OVM7251 module is available now for sampling and volume production, along with an evaluation kit. It will be demonstrated at OmniVision's private suite at the Computex expo, in Taipei, Taiwan, between May 28-30.

TRIOPTICS GmbHLaCroix Precision OpticsCeNing Optics Co LtdCHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.Mad City Labs, Inc.Berkeley Nucleonics CorporationSPECTROGON AB
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