Thanks to the miniaturisation of optoelectronic components such as camera chips and LEDs as well as more and more powerful processors, sensors can be built ever smaller and in an increasingly cost-efficient manner and are becoming more and more intelligent. This is creating access to new markets. Greater networking and the option to analyse and evaluate a very large amount of data are also increasing the need for reliable information. Optoelectronic sensors are particularly suited for acquiring such information as they can record and process various states in a contactless fashion and over large distances.
An example here is the rapid development of sensors for distance measurements. Different technologies, such as time of flight (TOF), give the camera sensors an additional dimension. As a result, combined with new 3D image processing algorithms, many new applications can be implemented (e.g. object recognition, people counting, direction recognition). It is therefore sometimes possible to hear or read that the sensors are themselves in a transitional stage: from 2D to 3D. With Project Tango, for example, Google has developed an initial smartphone that allows for 3D measurements in real time.
New manufacturing methods for lenses and cases, wafer-level microlenses and automatically focusable lenses are adding to the possibilities for the future.
Data communication via LED lights (Li-Fi) is a further area of application.
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