Mobile 3D sensing (VCSEL Technology)

    VCSEL technology encourages progress in biometric solutions such as mobile 3D sensing, according to Bianka Schnabel.


    Most of the key technologies behind advancements in mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets and wearables, are based on the ubiquitous use of light. This does not only include visible light such as display lighting or flash applications.


    Gesture recognition, iris scanning or facial recognition are just a few examples of how invisible infrared light can be used in mobile devices. What role can VCSEL technology (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) play in this space?


    What is A VCSEL?
    A VCSEL is a semiconductor-based laser diode which radiates the light vertically to the surface of the semiconductor chip, as opposed to edge-emitting laser diodes, where the light exits at the edge of the chip. As a surface mountable component, VCSEL combines the characteristics of a LED with those of a laser. 


    The technology can also be used as an array – a composite of several hundred or even thousand VCSELs – for example, a chip with 500 apertures of 1 mm x 1 mm, glued and bonded like a normal LED.


    VCSEL use in biometrics
    Biometrical user identification methods are the most reliable and secure access options that are currently available. They are an alternative to complex password management tools for mobile device security, access control, and increasingly authentication for mobile payments and other transactions. The need for these solutions is driven by users increasingly managing all aspects of their digital lives via their smartphone and other mobile devices which accelerates the development progress.

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