Qualcomm unveils its first depth-sensing camera technology for Android devices


Chipset maker Qualcomm has just introduced its new camera technology, which will soon make its way to Android devices. The new depth-sensing camera technology comes as an expansion to Qualcomm's Spectra Module Program, but the US-based company hopes to implement it on its Snapdragon Mobile chipsets.

The new IPSs feature a new camera architecture designed for advancements in computer vision, image quality and power efficiency. Moreover, the camera module program will include a trio of camera modules, including an iris authentication module, a passive depth sensing module, and an active depth sensing module.

According to Qualcomm, the Spectra Mobile Program has been expanded to include new camera modules that are able to take advantage of active sensing of superior biometric authentication, dense depth map generation, and segmentation.


Whether or not Qualcomm's new depth-sensing camera will be as effective as the company says, we'll probably find out when it hopefully makes it to Snapdragon Mobile chipsets.

source: Qualcomm

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12 Comments

1. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Although I really am not a fan of QC because, IMHO, I feel they monopolize the modem patents in America to themselves in order to stifle competition with other SoC ( IMHO the Exynos SoC performs superbly and should be allowed into the US to give consumers a choice between SD and Exynos devices.) However, I must give credit to their R&D and engineering departments and all the line works that make tech like this possible. Kudos to them,

3. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Except, they don't monopolize anything. Qualcomm is where they are because they make processors other OEM's have chosen to use. When you can't make your own stuff,. you have to choose from one of the other OEM's. Qualcomm is where they are because they earned it. Any OEM with money is free to license ARM designs and make their own chips. The reason they don't is because it isn't cost effective. Now, do they abuse their position? Well all I can say is, when OEM's negotiate a deal and everyone signs, then its not abuse. QC does not corner these OEM's. If a deal is wrote up and you don't agree with it, then you don't sign it. It's that simple. Don't be like Apple and agree to terms of a deal, and then complain later it wrong and choose not to pay when you agreed to pay. Qualcomm has no one cornered. Intel makes chips, TSMC makes chips. There are lots of chip foundries that can make chips for these other OEM's. In fact none of them have to make a custom design like Apple did. They can simply use ARM's designs as is and simply pay someone to make them. Again as I stated with so many OEM's it is simply not cost effective. Also these OEM's can buy chips from Samsung or pay Samsung to make their chip, just like apple does. Qualcomm is where they are because OEM's put them there. No more no less. You get on top, because you sell a product many want to buy. Obviously the product is goo din some form or fashion. So to complain talking about a monopoly is nothing more than B.S. I don't like Qualcomm either. Like Microsoft in the old days, I am sure they bullied at some point or did questionable deals. But if it was such an issue, all OEM's have to do is stop sourcing from them and source someone else. They have mostly chosen to use QC because they offer the best option. When you are the best in your class, you have a right to be compensated for that hard work.Or you can work and make your own stuff. Apple for example has plenty of money to make their own chip factory and make their own products 100%. But due to the overhead cost they have chosen to source from 3rd parties. In doing so they help elevate said party.

4. vincelongman

Posts: 5691; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yea, seems like everyone has forgot about the Galaxy S6, Note 5 and Exynos 7420

7. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

No not forgotten But those did not perform to well on the modem side as well as QC modems. The S6 was a great performer ( that's when I really was impress with Samsung devices again) But again it's modem could not function on par with the modem on the 810 SoC ( speed wise) but it function. The reason I really don't like QC is that it seems they are purposely keeping out the other SoC like the Exynos on Samsung devices ( don't know what type of agreement Samsung has with them but its not conducive for choice) in order to give the SD reign in the US. I would like to see both offered and allow the customer to choice. The S6 seem to be an Exceptional as QC basically admitted to its Costly mistakes with the rush 810.

12. vincelongman

Posts: 5691; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

So you are blaming QC for the Exynos 7420's worse modem? Or for Samsung not wanting to pay royalties like they did with the Exynos 7420?

9. adi90

Posts: 554; Member since: Dec 21, 2015

Well consumers outside US also do not get any choice when it comes to choosing SoC. In India i cannot buy samsung mobiles like note and galaxy S series with Snapdragon processor. Samsung only releases mobiles with exynos SoC. Xiaomi cannot release their mobiles with mediatek processor in India due to their contract. So I don't think Qualcomm is doing anything different in US than what other OEM are doing elsewhere.

2. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

It's really good to see Qualcomm stretch the boundaries with their SoCs. Especially in the fields of AR/VR/MR. Can't wait for the standalone headsets to arrive later this year.

5. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Even though I don't like QC personally, I use too until they openly lied about the SD821, they do have the best components in their class of products and they constantly do improve and innovate their products over the long term. If they set the standard that other choose to follow, then we as consumers benefit, because it results in lower cost, faster improvements and always having the latest greatest tech firm and we get to enjoy its improvements over time. Not be like some company's who just wait 3 years to buy tech after ti has reach maturity and try to act like its theirs or its new.

8. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Agree. But I thought it was the horribly performing ( excessive throttling) SD810 not the 821 was there something wrong with that one am I missing them up?

6. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Pushing boundaries in the mobile SoC industry, as usual.

10. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

This could potentially open the gateway to a cost effective and long lasting HoloLens. As it is now, the hololens relies on an Intel atom CPU and separate HPU for depth sensing. This could pack both in 1 chip, reducing power consumption, adding LTE and always-on support, and would be compatible with the full Windows on ARM. Bring it on Qualcomm.

11. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

"Qualcomm unveils its first depth-sensing camera technology for Android devices" It's first depth-sensing for Android? Really? #ProjectTangoIsaLie #AppleDidItFirst /s

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