May 12, 2021

Orbbec and Microsoft to collaborate on new Time-of-Flight camera tech

Orbbec to manufacture and provide broad access to advanced Time-of-Flight 3D Cameras built on the Azure Depth Platform.
A schematic of an Orbbec 3D camera

Today, Orbbec has announced a collaboration with Microsoft to develop products for 3D imaging. Combining Microsoft’s market-leading 3D sensor technology and Orbbec’s 3D camera design know-how, manufacturing capabilities, and unique embedded computing technology, the company will introduce new cameras in 2022, to satisfy the burgeoning demand for 3D sensing technology.

Orbbec made headlines earlier this year when they announced their plan at CES 2021 to introduce a new Time-of-Flight (ToF) camera product line, supporting multiple ToF Sensors, on-board depth computing, 6-axis IMU motion tracking, multi-camera synchronization, and many other useful features in 3D imaging.

The rapid growth of the ToF sensor and device market is driven by increasing demand for applications of 3D cameras and smartphones, and the rising adoption of computer vision systems in various industries. According to a MarketsandMarkets report, The overall ToF sensor market is expected to grow from USD 2.8 billion in 2020 to USD 6.9 billion by 2025.

Time-of-Flight sensors and cameras can be used to capture the exact position and shape of objects and scenes by using light to measure and interpret shapes, movement and position of objects. Orbbec stands out in its ability to deliver ToF cameras with embedded computing capability. Unlike many typical ToF cameras, Orbbec’s ToF cameras can output high-quality depth data without a PC or other external computing capability, giving users significantly greater design and application flexibility. 

“Orbbec’s long experience in manufacturing high-performance 3D cameras makes them a strong strategic partner for developing products based on Microsoft ToF technology and Azure,” said Cyrus Bamji, Microsoft Partner Hardware Architect. 

“This collaboration will accelerate the availability of ToF sensor cameras with advanced, embedded computing for developers and solution providers worldwide.”

Orbbec is partnering with Microsoft to develop a new series of high-performance 3D cameras that can run advanced depth vision algorithms using onboard computing to convert raw data into precise depth images. The camera will securely connect to Azure, and leverage device management, data streaming and AI analytics capabilities. Connecting this sensor to the Azure cloud platform can allow computer vision and AI developers to build solutions for logistics, robotics, retail, healthcare, and fitness markets. 

“Microsoft is a world leader in high-resolution ToF sensor technology and cloud-based service. Its knowledge and intellectual property allow Orbbec to offer a full range of ToF cameras for the widest possible spectrum of uses,” noted David Chen, co-founder and director of engineering for Orbbec. 

“Orbbec is excited to join the Azure Depth Platform Program, to jointly develop solutions that will enhance the capabilities of both Orbbec and Microsoft’s customer and partner ecosystems.” 

As part of the development process, Orbbec will engage its customers for early adoption and proofs of concept for the new ToF camera using Azure 3D. More information can be found at Orbbec3d.com



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