Samsung Sensor is First to Capture Image and Depth Data at the Same Time

Samsung has developed what the company claims is the world’s first CMOS sensor that can capture both RGB and range images at the same time. Microsoft’s Kinect has received a good deal of attention as of late for its depth-sensing capabilities, but it uses separate sensors for RGB images and range images. Samsung’s new solution combines both functions into a single image sensor by introducing “z-pixels” alongside the standard red, blue, and green pixels. This allows the sensor to capture 480×360 depth images while 1920×720 photos are being exposed. One of the big trends in the next decade may be depth-aware devices, and this new development certainly goes a long way towards making that a reality.

(via Tech-On! via Gizmodo)


    wondering if a sensor like this will be able to do selective focus after the image has been captured. similar to the lytro camera.

  • mythbuster

    It seems it could do but using a different method. Coming from Samsung industrial giant, Lytro is going to face hard competence.

  • mythbuster

    competition!!! ;-)

  • Just Visiting

    I don’t think so. But it can be used as focusing method, as fast as PDAF and it’s on sensor, just like CDAF.

  • Franz

    The future definitely belongs to flat volumetric displays, so this stuff would come in very handy. Especially in smartphones with shortage of space. 

    Shape shifting polymer displays might come first though. Then combined with this sensor, you could “feel the texture” of your photos.