Tom’s Hardware has announced that Rambus lensless smart sensors (LSS) won the publication’s “Best Of” (hardware) award for Mobile World Congress 2015. It should be noted that Rambus LSS technology clinched the “Best of MWC” award from Tom’s Guide in 2014.
Designed by Rambus scientists, LSS is roughly analogous to the way a human, animal or insect brain perceives the world: the real-time interpretation of a scene or object facilitated by inherent pattern recognition capabilities.
“Essentially, this means data leaving a human retina looks nothing at all like a map of light intensity, although it does contain all the information required to interpret an image,” LSS co-inventor Patrick Gill told Rambus Press.
“Similarly, LSS allows sensors to capture information-rich images using a low-cost phase grating. Even though the raw ‘snap’ is indecipherable to the naked human eye, the sensor, which is approximately the size of pinhead and as thin as a human hair, is capable of capturing all of the information in the visual world up to a certain resolution.”
According to Gill, the spiral grating of LSS diffractive optics (hardware), coupled with sophisticated computational algorithms (software), effectively reduces computation time while facilitating application-specific design flexibility.
“Computation is pushed past the ‘edge’ and performed on the LSS sensors themselves. However, unlike traditional PIR sensors that are only capable of detecting a general event such as motion, LSS algorithms can be tailored to monitor and even ‘decipher’ what is being captured,” he explained.
“In addition, LSS delivers more data (128 bits x 128 pixels versus two bits x two pixels), along with improved accuracy. In practical terms, this enables near infinite depth-of-field and eliminates the need for autofocus.”
Lensless smart sensor technology garnered significant attention from analysts, journalists and industry experts after Rambus officially kicked off its (LSS) POD (Partners in Open Development) program in Barcelona, Spain.
“Individuals and companies designing sensors for the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT) are often forced to code complex algorithms from the ground up,” Kendra De Berti, a director at Rambus, told us on the sidelines of MWC 2015. “Our POD program will offer partners early access to LSS hardware along with optimized algorithms.”
As part of the POD initiative, Rambus, along with partners MLove and IXDS, hosted 4YFN’s MWC 2015 “Eyes of the IoT” workshop at MWC 2015. Participants discussed how smart vision facilitated by LSS technology could potentially impact the future of smart cities, medical equipment, transportation and manufacturing.
In addition, Rambus CMO Jerome Nadel participated in 4YFN’s MWC panel discussion about the Internet of Things (IoT), Rambus lensless smart sensors and the evolution of smart cities.
As Nadel told a packed audience, disruptive innovation is often contrarian.
“We need to think beyond the mobile status quo to a brave new future four years from now when ubiquitous intelligent sensors positively redefine human interaction with technology and our surroundings,” Nadel concluded. “Let’s work towards creating adaptable smart cities that empower residents by melding the physical world with the digital realm.”
Interested in learning more about the technology behind Rambus lensless smart sensors? You can check out our LSS article archive here.