3D Sensors: The Nifty Technology to Develop as a Smarter Investment for Future

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Abhinav Chandrayan

Abhinav Chandrayan has worked in the Writing industry for 2 years, gaining experience in Media & Advertising and Market Research Industry. As a seasoned writer, he is passionate about advancing his writing skills by reading and working on versatile domains. In addition to writing, he is also involved in Filmmaking, where his films have won many awards at various International Film Festivals. Outside of the office, Abhinav enjoys traveling, sports, and exploring different movie niches.

The demand for 3D sensors and sensing technology is increasing from various sectors including, consumer electronics, automotive, healthcare, retail, and others. Manufacturers are constantly making improvements in sensor technologies to enhance safety and develop efficient production results. Today, there are several enterprise applications that stand to benefit from 3D sensor technologies.

Over the last few years, the demand for sensors and 3D sensing technology has been driven mostly by their requirement in the consumer electronics sector comprising mobile phones, wearables, tablets, and remote devices. 3D sensors play a vital role in electronics and are gaining huge popularity among consumers due to the growing demand for gesture applications such as accelerometers, fingerprint recognition, image sensors, and position sensors. Other sectors where the use of 3D sensing technologies is beginning to boom include automotive, retail, healthcare, and transport and logistics (T&L). As per a report by Research Dive, the global 3D sensor market is estimated to surpass $12,937.2 million by 2026, increasing from $1,464.6 million in 2018.

3D Sensor
Source – Research Dive

The quickly dropping prices of 3D as well as other edge technology sensors such as the artificial intelligence (AI) sensor, due to the rising competition among the leading 3D sensor providers, is making the enterprise utilization of 3D sensors more feasible. For instance, in March 2019, Waymo, a self-driving technology subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., announced to start selling its proprietary LiDAR sensors to partners in the automotive industry, which is a move to help further depress prices of sensors. Moreover, the 3D sensor market has witnessed a progressive growth during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the increasing demand for 3D enabled devices in consumer electronics, particularly smartphones.

Manufacturers are making continuous improvements in sensor technologies in order to enhance safety and develop efficient production results. Many companies and businesses are also increasingly focusing towards technological advancements in many devices including cameras, smartphones, medical equipment, and others. The 3D sensors are thus rapidly becoming an essential option for various industries and sectors worldwide.

3D Sensors Vs Cameras: Pros and Cons

Today, there several enterprise applications that stand to benefit from 3D sensor technologies. There are three different types of 3D sensors or sensing technologies used for various purposes. However, there can be an argument that standard cameras remain more accessible to many businesses or organizations for the following reasons:

  • The cost of 3D sensors is much higher compared to cameras, especially when considering the usage of long-range 3D sensors
  • 3D sensors may experience more interference from sunlight outdoors as compared to cameras, especially for the structured light type of 3D sensors
  • The initial calibration process for cameras is less involved than 3D sensors
  • An additional processing power is required for processing 3D data

However, the number of important advantages associated with 3D sensor over cameras are as follows:

  • Less Affected by Bad Lighting: Generally, high-accuracy computer vision applications that utilize camera require controlled lighting and can sometimes not be able to handle environments where lighting is poor, such as in warehouses and trailers. Since 3D sensors provide their own infrared light source, they can be operated even in the dark.
  • Generate Better Rich Scene Data: 3D sensors can provide additional information for complicated scenes, for example – scenes with similarly colored objects, which becomes crucial to achieve desired analysis accuracy. Besides, 3D sensor have the ability to enable estimation of object sizes more accurately as compared to cameras.
  • Protect Privacy: It is imperative to protect the privacy of those being monitored, whether the technology is used to monitor patients at hospitals, or customers or workers in a retail store. Many regions or countries across the world, such as Europe have stringent personnel privacy standards. To protect the privacy, 3D sensor can capture the required data in a less-invasive way.

These reasons strongly evaluate the potential of 3D sensor technology as a better investment for business when looked for ways to improve asset monitoring or operational planning. Though the present-day cost of 3D sensors is higher than cameras, utilizing 3D sensors is the best option for investment for the future. Moreover, there are some very specific scenarios wherein 3D sensor will almost always be the smartest option, such as in the transportation & logistics sector.

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Categories: Technology

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