Blickfeld raises $31M for 3D sensor and computer vision development
A Munich, Germany-based startup, Blickfeld, says it has secured additional funding for its Series A round as it seeks to develop new products based on its LiDAR sensor technology. The funding, now totaling $31 million, will go towards the continued development of 3D data sensors and computer vision software for applications such as passenger flow detection at airports.
Blickfeld said that starting in early 2022, the company will add to its product range with “perception software” technology with features including object detection, classification, tracking, and counting. Uses for this new product include smart traffic, security, and people analytics, among others. Executives said the analytics offering, in particular, is a key opportunity because of the ability to provide data on congestion, crowd management, wait times, and more while still maintaining the privacy.
Three-dimensional biometric security commonly uses infrared light to project a dense map of dots onto a face to create a “depth map” that’s unseen by the naked eye. LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology uses laser light to detect objects, offering better accuracy at greater distances and under a greater range of light conditions than other solutions than infrared-based systems.
New Future Capital (NFC) joined the round as a new investor. Existing investors including Bayern Kapital, Continental, Fluxunit – ams OSRAM Ventures, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Tengelmann Ventures, and UVC Partners also participated.
“As a long-term partner, we have been supporting Blickfeld from the beginning. Combining their proprietary MEMS technology with our industry leading 905 nm Edge Emitting Laser components, Blickfeld’s sensors show the capabilities of scanning LiDAR technology in real-world use cases and in industrial scale,” says Jörg Strauß, Senior Vice President and General Manager Business Line Visualization and Laser at ams OSRAM in a prepared statement.
Blickfeld previously raised $10 million over three rounds of funding, according to data from Crunchbase. Executives said they have launched 3D-LiDAR sensors, the Cube 1 and Cube Range 1, for multiple industrial applications. The company has resellers in 13 countries and is planning to open new offices in the U.S. and Asia to help integrate its technology into other products.
As noted above, Blickfeld currently offers LiDAR with 905 nanometer (nm) wavelength emitting laser components. SiLC Technologies just introduced a product based on 1550 nm wavelength using FMCW (frequency-modulated continuous wave). The company is claiming improvements in detection of objects in motion at greater distances and under a greater range of light conditions while also offering better eye safety in biometric applications.