The picture of the year.
It was probably the most frequently used picture of the Hanover Fair 2016: Angela Merkel and Barack Obama are obviously fascinated when trying out virtual reality glasses at the stand of ifm electronic. While politicians visiting the stand usually try hard to look interested when a managing director explains important technologies, it is obvious that this time the two are enjoying themselves.
Usually virtual reality and augmented reality cause much fascination when you try them out for the first time. The combination of virtual objects that appear in the image of the real environment and with which the user can interact amazes people again and again. Animated figures are suddenly moving about the table; pieces of furniture can be virtually positioned in your home and then looked at from all sides. The possibilities of the new technology seem to be almost unlimited.
Technical edge of the 3D camera technology
There is a simple reason that the chancellor and then US president got into touch with this fascinating technology at the stand of ifm electronic. The subsidiary pmdtechnologies developed an important key technology needed to make augmented reality applications possible: a 3D camera based on the TOF principle (time of flight).
The pmd 3D camera module has already been used in smartphones
The time the light takes to travel from the light source to the object and back again to the camera is measured to determine the distance. pmdtechnologies has developed this method to such a point that the whole camera is made in CMOS technology. Therefore it can be easily integrated into a smartphone, for example, or – as demonstrated at the Hanover Fair – in VR glasses. This makes devices capable of recognising their position, orientation and movement in real space. This allows integration of virtual objects into the real space image. And if the camera also recognises the user’s hand and analyses its movements virtual gesture control is possible. Angela Merkel and Barack Obama tried this out at the ifm stand in Hanover. You could see they were fascinated.
ifm electronic has been involved in the development of the pmd 3D camera module to an industrially compatible 3D camera. The ifm O3X is the industrial version of the pmd 3D camera module.
© ifm electronic