TetraVue (Vista, CA), which has invented a high-definition lidar technology that it calls "4D Lidar" (4D meaning 3D plus time), just announced that more investors, including KLA Tencor, Lam Research, and Tsing Capital, have joined existing investors Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, Samsung Catalyst Fund, and Nautilus Ventures in providing additional funding to the company.
TetraVue's technology is very different from current lidar approaches, as it merges the resolution of high-definition (HD) video with range data to enable long-range 4D motion capture. Tetravue says that it is the first 4D camera technology that captures real-time images with depth perception down to each pixel, a capability of great use in markets including autonomous vehicles, machine vision, and factory automation.
The company further explains that today's digital video cameras accurately capture high-resolution 2D images over time, but are unable to see the depth of objects., while competing lidar techniques can detect the depth of a set of points, but at insufficient resolution to be discernible as an image. TetraVue cameras "uniquely merge digital video with lidar technology by capturing multimegapixel images at up to 30 frames per second with accurate depth for each individual pixel," according to the company. As a result, a TetraVue camera can process 100x more real-time data that describes object location and motion in the surrounding environment.
New investors are pillars of the semiconductor-industry
KLA-Tencor and Lam Research are both names familiar to those in the Laser Focus World audience who have connections to the semiconductor industry. Both companies produce semiconductor processing equipment for the chip industry.
"We were impressed with the novel approach that TetraVue brings to solving the high-resolution depth-sensing problem currently facing automotive makers who plan to deploy autonomous vehicles," says David Fisher, senior VP of corporate business development at KLA-Tencor.
"HD video with accurate depth per pixel is the 'Holy Grail' of machine vision that can transform emerging markets from autonomous vehicles, augmented and virtual reality, and smart factories," notes Hal Zarem, CEO of TetraVue. In the automotive industry, lidar is considered one of the decisive technologies needed to make autonomous driving a reality. TetraVue is initially focused on the automotive market and is working with key partners to bring 4D lidar technology to market.
In cinematography, animation and augmented/virtual reality applications, TetraVue 4D cameras allow improved workflows by more effectively bridging the gap between real-world scenes and virtual world content creation, says the company. By fusing high-resolution, high-frame-rate images at the pixel level with accurate depth information, TetraVue says its technology improves motion capture, digital asset acquisition, and 3D visualization.
In addition, Industry 4.0 factory automation from drones to robots can be enhanced with the deeper vision enabled by TetraVue 4D lidar cameras, says TetraVue.
For more info, see www.tetravue.com.
TetraVue will be demonstrating its technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 in Las Vegas, NV from January 9-12, 2018 in the Tech East Convention Center North Hall, Booth 9130. To arrange a demo, contact TetraVue at CES2018@tetravue.com.