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Rising Demand for Devices with 3D Sensing Capabilities is Expected to Drive the Growth of the 3D Sensing and Imaging Market

   May 16, 2023

3D sensing mimics the human visual system using optical technology; hence it can be implemented in various consumer electronic devices. The technology is widely used in smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices for facial recognition and measurement of objects or scenery in a three-dimensional aspect. The rising demand for 3D image-capturing capabilities contributes to the increasing adoption of 3D sensing devices. Major electronics companies such as Apple Inc. (U.S.), Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (South Korea) and Sony Group Corporation (Japan) are incorporating 3D sensing technology in their products to provide a unique user experience.

Some of the recent key developments in the 3D sensing space are as follows:

  • In April 2020, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (U.S.) collaborated with BOE Technology Group Co., Ltd. (China) to develop innovative display products featuring Qualcomm 3D Sonic ultrasonic fingerprint sensors. With this collaboration, consumers can expect extraordinary performance improvements resulting from the integration of multiple key technologies of both companies, including sensors, antennae, displays, and picture processing.
  • In March 2020, Apple Inc. (U.S.) launched its most advanced iPad Pro with the A12Z Bionic chip. The iPad Pro is faster and more powerful than most Windows PCs and laptops. iPad Pro features an ultra-wide camera, studio-quality mics, and a breakthrough LiDAR scanner delivering cutting-edge depth-sensing capabilities, opening up more pro workflows and supporting pro photo and video apps. The LiDAR scanner, along with pro cameras, motion sensors, pro performance, pro audio, the stunning Liquid Retina display, and powerful apps, makes the iPad Pro the world’s best device for Augmented Reality (AR) applications.

Increasing Adoption of Liquid Lenses for Better Vision is Expected to Drive the Growth of the 3D Sensing and Imaging Market

lenses are used in various applications, such as digital photography, industrial data capture, barcode reading, and biometric data acquisition. The adaptability, speed, and versatility of liquid lenses make them ideal for various machine vision, life science, and measuring & inspection applications.

The main benefits of liquid lenses are their flexibility to be used in several applications simultaneously, which is especially useful in high-volume production environments where different-sized objects are used. For example, a pharmaceutical company may use machine vision inspection for different types of capsules, pills, and soft gels. With traditional lenses, there would be a need for several image systems to be set up to inspect each product, or one image system would have to constantly have the depth of focus changed. Different object distances can be programmed into the imaging system, eliminating the need to stop production and change the depth of focus or set up for different imaging systems. This benefit of flexibility drives the demand for liquid lenses in various industrial applications.

Major applications of liquid lenses are as follows:

  • Machine Vision: High-volume assembly lines require fast, accurate, and precise throughput. Integrating a liquid lens into an inspection system is an optimal, compact, and economical solution when focusing on multiple distances is required. Liquid lenses are an ideal solution for barcode inspection, package sorting, quality control, and automation.
  • Life Sciences: Liquid lenses improve and simplify the process of focus stacking in microscopy imaging applications. Liquid lenses are often used in ophthalmology, where refraction control and depth of field adjustment are crucial.
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Adding a liquid lens to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imaging system offers image sharpness across various heights. Liquid lenses are especially advantageous in agricultural inspection and monitoring, geographic information systems, and surveillance applications.
  • Measurement and Dimensional Rendering: When paired with a distance sensor and camera, a liquid lens can quickly image different planes of a 3D object. The images are then stitched together by software for accurate three-dimensional rendering.

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