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Qualcomm update to better support face, image recognition for smartphones

Qualcomm’s upcoming update to its image signal processor (ISP) will better support features like face recognition and mixed reality, according to a report by Tom’s Guide.

Spectra ISP is a part of the Snapdragon system on chip that’s a widely deployed mobile processor platform for Android smartphones.

The next major Snapdragon update isn’t expected to be released until next year, however, the planned updates for the Spectra ISP will significantly improve the cameras on 2018 Android phones and virtual- and augmented reality headsets by introducing a new architecture to support advances in image quality, image recognition and power efficiency.

Qualcomm said its new camera module will deliver improved biometric sensing for detecting people’s faces and support for depth sensing to facilitate mixed reality capabilities for smartphones and headsets.

The company is introducing three modules to its camera setup including one for iris authentication and two that support passive and active depth sensing.

The iris authentication module supports phone unlocking features and is able to work in low light and through most sunglasses. If the sensor works as intended, it will not be fooled by third-parties using photos of eyes or 3D molds of faces.

Meanwhile, the depth sensing module will help drive several features such as improved image quality on bokeh effects for photos, enhanced mixed reality apps and better facial scanning.

The passive depth sensor that Qualcomm is planning to add will use differently placed cameras to take two different photos of the same object.

The sensor will then calculate the disparity between those images to determine how far away that object is (the larger the disparity, the closer the object).

Qualcomm said it will include the passive depth sensor on “Snapdragon value tier devices,” which means that depth-sensing capabilities will be available to more affordable phones in 2018.

Earlier this month, EyeLock LLC entered into a license agreement with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, for Qualcomm Mobile Security.

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