Santa Clara-based Lucid today announced a partnership with Taipei manufacturer Via Technologies to embed its 3D Fusion technology with the former’s Edge AI 3D developer kit, a plug-and-play hardware solution designed for dual-camera phones, drones, laptops, autonomous vehicles, robots, and security cameras.
Lucid’s unique 3D Fusion computer vision platform relies on two camera lenses spaced a specific distance apart, and uses a combination of machine learning and historical data to measure depth in real time. It enables features like gesture control, augmented and virtual reality object tracking, and high-quality smartphone portrait photos.
“Through this exciting partnership, VIA and Lucid together are tackling the fast scaling required by depth sensing with our Edge AI platforms and systems,” Richard Brown, vice president of international marketing at Via, said. “We see major applications not only for security cameras, but also smart retail, robots, drones, and especially autonomous vehicles. This collaboration will yield a hardware/software combination where VIA provides customizable and … Edge AI developer kits, systems, and cameras with Lucid’s AI solution as an integrated software module.”
The depth data Lucid’s embeddable software analyzes can also be used for facial authentication, Han Jin, CEO and cofounder, claims. Unlike the camera-based systems on most phones, 3D Fusion can identify the contours and distinctive dermatological features of faces, paving the way for smartphones with Face ID-like tech. And while it isn’t plug-and-play — Lucid works with each manufacturer to create a “vision profile” for a device’s specific optics — it obviates the need for laser-based depth sensors, which can contribute to bulk and materials costs.
“This partnership will deliver a superior depth system in both cost and performance compared to current market solutions leading the strong trend of multi cameras towards replacing sensors,” Jin said. “It is also simplifying development and scalability efforts for a wide range of IoT and dual and multi-camera devices which have struggled to integrate previously more expensive and larger hardware depth solutions forcing them to build their own customized systems.”
Lucid sells its own hardware — the VR180 LucidCam — and partnered with camera maker Red this year to design an 8K 3D camera and built its tech into the recently launched Red Hydrogen One smartphone. But in June, it announced plans to pivot away from first-party hardware in favor of a software licensing model.
The Via Edge AI 3D developer kit — which packs Qualcomm’s APQ8096SG processor — will be available in limited quantities starting later this year, and in volume beginning 2019. It’s on display at the ISC East conference in New York this week and November’s OFweek China High-tech Industry Conference 2018 in Shenzhen.