Early examples of AR have been included in smartphones for some time where the handset camera is supported by data from a 3D sensing module. 3D sensing provides information about the size and depth of different objects surrounding the user that are part of the interactive AR experience.
However before widespread adoption will occur, the issue of the working range of 3D sensing modules needs to be addressed. Most current 3D sensing modules have a limit to their working range of around two metres. This means only objects very close by can be included in the AR world, leaving much of the real scene ignored. This results in a limit to the number of immersive practical applications.
The LiDAR scanner used by Apple in its recently released iPad Pro uses technology to increase the range to five metres and include more of the surroundings. However, this LiDAR technology results in a compromise to measurement resolution. Some reviewers highlighted performance inaccuracies and limitations.
However, CML has developed technology that increases the range to ten metres without compromising measurement resolution. Tier 1 smartphone supply chains are including this functionality in module samples planned to be available in Q3 this year.
The 3D sensing modules including CML’s technology will have double the working range compared to the LiDAR scanner and ten times superior measurement accuracy. This can deliver the most realistic AR experiences in a broader range of scenarios.