BIOMETRIC UPDATE by Chris Burt – 14 May 2020
Biometrics are widely expected to continue playing a major role in people gradually resume public interaction after weeks or months of doing everything remotely. As lockdowns around the world are eased, facial recognition and other non-contact technologies will be used to secure access control, and related technologies will be used to detect masks, monitor crowd sizes, and even ensure people maintain physical distancing.
For some of these applications, 3D imaging is ideally suited, and facial recognition was one of the main markets Orbbec sold million of cameras to in the past year, the company’s Co-founder and CEO David Chen told Biometric Update in an interview.
The company has been developing 3D imaging technology for seven years. “We are now the largest independent 3D camera manufacturer worldwide,” Chen says, before qualifying the claim with a laugh that he is not counting Apple as “independent.”
“The change had already started to take place,” he observes. Tracing the development of 3D computer imaging back to its academic roots in 2011, through the first major advances of products based on 3D cameras starting in 2015, Chen says the technology has matured, while computer vision applications based on 2D imaging have become increasingly relied on in a range of industries.
The COVID-19 pandemic and concerns about physical distancing have come about just as the 3D camera market takes off. The 3D sensor market is expected to grow at a 22 percent CAGR to 2024, and the global facial recognition market was forecast to surpass $12 billion by 2025, with stationary 3D taking up the largest portion of the market, even before the pandemic struck.
“There is a pretty clear that people are starting to realize even more that non-contact technology and interactions will play a really important role in the near future,” Chen says. “The trend is already very clear, from academic right through applications.”
Chen says that the additional data provided by 3D cameras makes distance tracking much simpler, and algorithm and function development easier in general.
Orbbec cameras are used in non-contact recognition, tracking, and reconstruction, and the company is currently working on series of new products, including “short range, middle range, long range, wide angle, and higher accuracy 3D cameras,” according to Chen.
Orbbec recently partnered with Eyeware to provide retailers with eye tracking for customer insights. For the smartphone market, Orbbec is working with OneVisage on …