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History and Applications of 3D Sensing Technology

3D sensing technology, also called virtual reality, has been making waves in the interactive gaming industry with increasing popularity. As of recent, 3d sensing has been widely applied in industrial fields such as automotive manufacturing and civil engineering.

What exactly is 3D Sensing Technology?

One definition of 3D Sensing Technology is a system that collects data using computers to produce three-dimensional representations for purposes such as visualization, manufacturing, or simulation. Commercial products sold by Microsoft and Leapfrog are just a few of the many examples that utilize this technology. These products are used in game development, medical diagnosis, and professional design applications.

The 3D sensor is a device that can detect the physical world through computer vision. By using these sensors, people can change their digital devices into interactive platforms that they can use to interact with their surrounding environment virtually. As technology advances, more machines will be able to communicate with one another through this technology, commonly referred to as machine-to-machine or M2M communication. Predictably, this interaction will begin in the coming years and will significantly impact how we go about our everyday lives.

History of 3D Sensing Technology

3D sensing technology is a relatively new concept, but collecting data from the physical world has existed since the beginning of time. To illustrate, the ancient Greeks built a Dipteral Room device to track their competitors’ movement to gain an advantage. In fact, scientists in Italy and France were experimenting with this concept as early as 1693. Artec, Inc. released the first commercial product using 3D Sensing Technology in 1997, referred to as “DepthSense.” The device was based on sonar and had many applications, including image recognition and medical diagnosis. Several other devices followed this product similarly.

In the 2000s, technology improved drastically, leading to an increase in the use of 3D Sensing Technology. In 2004, Nintendo released its handheld game system called “DS(R).” The device was able to utilize 3D sensors, and it provided gaming experiences that were not previously possible. As time passed and technology continued to improve, more firms began investing in this concept. Many of these firms focused on improving the accuracy, size, and cost of sensors that could be used for 3D sensing technology. In 2008, Microsoft released a camera that could scan the environment and convert it into data that could be used to create 3D reconstructions. The Kinect by Microsoft was an important milestone in using 3D Sensing Technology. It allowed users to interact with their surroundings and provided them with information about their surroundings, such as what is around them in the room or what objects are on the table beside them.

Applications of 3D sensors:

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality involves blending digital data and information with the real world. With this technology, we can view digital content from anywhere around us (ex: using an app on our phone). AR is used in many applications, but the technology is not perfect. When you look at the Dioram website, you will uncover that many AR apps use GPS to understand where the user is and then overlay information using a camera that shows the user’s location. This technology can be enhanced by adding depth sensing so that apps know what is in front of them. For example, shopping for clothes requires:

1) knowing your size

2) seeing how you look in an outfit

Imagine if you could just take an outfit you were thinking of buying, hold up your phone in front of the outfit, and see how you look without changing clothes! You wouldn’t even have to ask a sales associate for help.

Health Care Applications

Medicine and Dentistry are very similar in that they deal with the human body. Both require precision and a deep understanding of the human body. 3D sensing technology can be used to scan a patient’s body to get a more detailed understanding of their anatomy. In the past, this was done with x-rays and other forms of radiation. This kind of scan required the patient to be exposed to radiation, and it was not as detailed as a 3D scan could be. 3D sensing technology is being used to improve dental care in multiple ways. For example, researchers at MIT developed a tool that can detect cavities before they become a problem. The tool uses lasers and 3D sensing technology to look inside a person’s mouth with extreme detail. Smart tools save patients time and money while giving them more control over their well-being.

Industrial Robotics

Industrial Robotics are machines that are used in factories to assemble objects. They are becoming increasingly human-like and autonomous, making industrial robots more popular and useful. The reason why this trend is beneficial is that robots can perform repetitive tasks without requiring human interaction. For example, a robot can crawl around a factory floor, pick up parts from a conveyor belt, put them together in the exact order the programmer wants them to be together, and then move on to the next part of the program. This type of robotics is called “intelligent robotics.

Computer Vision

This area deals with the analysis and understanding of images. Some visual tasks are “easy” to solve, but some are very difficult. That can be the case when it is difficult to determine the distance between two objects because they may be in different places or heights. Computer vision can aid this task by analyzing the images and determining distances between objects. Computer vision is an important area that has a ton of applications. You can take an example of a game where you are walking down a street and trying to collect things in the environment. You may have to walk back and try again if you miss a cup. There is no way that a human could just keep chasing after the cup through the city. Computer vision can be used to calculate the distance between objects based on what they see, so there is no need for humans to measure distances manually.

3D sensing technology is becoming more and more popular. 3D sensors involve time-of-flight, stereo vision, motion capture, and depth sensing. The applications of this type of technology are numerous, solving many problems in robotics and healthcare.


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