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Depth-sensing cameras will open up a whole new frontier for smartphones

Editor's Note:

Here's another tech trend that will both disrupt existing industries and create opportunities for the creation of 'Phoenix companies' that rise from the ashes of their predecessors. (Who remembers that NCR was founded in 1884 as National Cash Register?)

Skipping past the cost for companies to bring products to market, the price points for consumers, and rate of adoption, all covered in the story below, here's a list of the industries where this new technology will be immediately employed:

  • Digital photography
  • Mapping and navigation
  • Fashion and apparel
  • Virtual Reality (VR) and aumented reality (AR)
  • Product design and 3D printing
  • Health and fitness

Eric Rachlin, co-founder of Body Labs offers his informed preview of what's to come and the elements required to bring various products and services to market.


2016 marks the beginning of a fundamental leap forward in smartphone hardware: depth-sensing cameras. We’ve already seen accelerometers, gyroscopes, barometers, cameras, and fingerprint sensors become common on even the most budget-friendly smartphones. And, due to the accelerated hardware arms race between the world’s top manufacturers, we’ll see depth-sensors on some consumer tablets hitting the market this year.

These sensors supplement today’s monocular RGB images with per-pixel depth information (often derived by projecting a pattern of 3D infrared light into a scene). The technology will enable enhanced object, body, facial, and gesture recognition.

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