Imagine if a toy, smartphone or home appliance was always aware of its surroundings, constantly ready to power up and stand to attention when someone beckoned. Qualcomm’s got a tech for that—a solution that resides somewhere between a camera and a motion sensor. The company’s Glance module uses computer vision to monitor its surroundings while drawing far less power that a complete camera.
The module, which is now under development, combines a lens, an image sensor and a power-stingy processor that supports computer-vision algorithms, according to Technology Review. With a resolution of 320 by 240, Glance is capable of discerning the human form and can even detect when people take certain actions, such as making gestures.
The hardware operates using only about two milliwatts of power, compared to hundreds of milliwatts for a camera module. This allows Glance to be on all the time, even in a battery-powered device.
The technology could be used to unlock a smartphone, detecting when a user is nearby and cueing the phone’s camera to scan their face. It also could make toys more interactive, noting when a child approaches and starting the product perform an action, making a doll speak, for example. Appliances such as air conditioners could note when people approach and start operating.
With its capabilities, Glance also is well suited to replace motion sensors in home security and elder care applications. Glance can capture more data than such sensors while still detecting movement as needed, according to Qualcomm.
Stephan Cunningham is vice president, product management at Veritone. Working in concert with core internal teams including industry-specific general managers and engineering as well as directly with clients and prospects, he leads the disciplines and business processes which govern the Veritone Platform.