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Samsung camera sensor captures image and depth information with a single piece of silicon

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Samsung has introduced a new CMOS sensor that is able to capture both RGB image and depth information simultaneously.

Samsung CMOS RGB and Range Camera Sensor
Samsung CMOS RGB and Range Camera Sensor

By using an RGB camera in tandem with a depth sensor, Microsoft's Kinect has opened up a world of interactive possibilities, and now Samsung has announced a new camera sensor that melds the two elements into one. The CMOS sensor utilizes rows of depth-sensing z-pixels alternating with a traditional RGB array, allowing the sensor to capture both sets of information simultaneously. The sensor outputs a resolution of 1,920 x 720 on the image side — 1.38-megapixels — while the z-pixels are four times the size of their image-sensing counterparts, providing a depth image with a resolution of 480 x 360. Given that the z-pixels take up physical space on the sensor itself, image-processing software interpolates the values for the missing data in the image. With depth-sensing cameras and gesture-based interaction becoming an increasingly important focus in new devices, the sensor is a promising step in the right direction with the potential to bring new features not only to gaming consoles, but cameras and mobile devices as well.