Lucid announced today at Mobile World Congress Shanghai that it’s teaming up with device makers to integrate its computer vision platform into dual-camera phones, drones, laptops, and security cameras.
The Santa Clara-based company, which sells its own hardware — the VR180 LucidCam — partnered with camera maker Red this year to design an 8K 3D camera. But it’s moving away from hardware to pursue a software licensing model.
“We see this as a unique opportunity where our technology syncs with the acceleration of the industry as dual cameras move into many more devices,” Lucid CEO Han Jin said in a statement. “The way we as humans accurately perceive three dimensions and distances is not solely based on our two eyes, but rather, a combination of experience, learning, and inference. As chips and servers begin to approach the processing power of our brains, we can mimic this intelligence in software only, using AI and data on top of dual cameras.”
Lucid’s unique 3D Fusion computer 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. That enables features like gesture control, augmented and virtual reality object tracking, and high-quality smartphone portrait photos.
The depth data can also be used for facial authentication, the company claims. Unlike the camera-based systems on most phones, Lucid’s depth-measuring software can identify specific faces, paving the way for smartphones with Face ID-like tech.
Lucid’s software isn’t plug-and-play — the company works with each manufacturer to create a “vision profile” for a smartphone or laptop’s specific optics. But it said that it obviates the need for depth sensors, which add bulk to devices and tend to drive up the price.
“Like a baseball player who can train to improve his vision, the vision profile in dual cameras will also continue to get better through continuous learning. In this way devices attain exceptional visual perception without sophisticated hardware,” Jin said. “The depth information that is captured through the addition of the second camera is what separates a device from recommending you similar clothes to knowing much more, such as the precise size, shape, style, fit, and texture. This leads to a much bigger benefit for consumers, and thus belongs in many more products than just the LucidCam.”
Lucid said that it’s already working to incorporate its software into devices from several consumer electronics companies, but declined to name names.