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SLS or XLS cameras: What’s the difference between them?

The SLS camera uses a Kinect sensor. The Kinect sensor was developed by Microsoft for the Xbox. Microsoft has since stop making the Xbox Kinect devices but have not stopped developing the sensor. It is now developed as the Azure Kinect and sold as a development kit


Fig. 1 Azure Kinect

The software alone is a breakthrough. Developers gathered large amounts of data concerning motion-capture of moving things in real-life. They used a special artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to model people. Now this AI is not stored in the Kinect nor the Xbox, but was used to generate the software to run them, we’ll call it the Kinect’s brain. Along with determining shapes it must also determine distance. To do this it uses a few sensors and analyzes the data around 30 times per second or 30Hz.

The Kinect uses 3 pieces to detect motion and create the skeleton on the screen. A VGA camera, a depth sensor and a multi-array microphone. The camera detects red, green, and blue colors it also detects bodies and facial features. The pixel resolution is 640x480 with a frame rate of 30 fps. The depth sensor has a monochrome CMOS sensor and infrared projector that creates the 3D imagery in the room. It also measures the distance by measuring the IR “time of flight” after if reflects off an object. The microphone is an array of 4 microphones that can isolate voices from the background noise. These components are used to track 48 points on a body 30 times per second.

Fig. 2 Kinect Sensor

Matching the hardware and software allows the Kinect to generate 3D images and recognize human beings within its field-of-vision. There are many possible applications with the Kinect besides just video games. Paranormal investigators now use this device to find ghosts or see what the human eye cannot.

Engineering level sensors like these are either expensive or cheap and unreliable. Laser arrays are expensive and cumbersome and only map in two dimensions. A stereo camera is small but requires immense computing power. The Kinect is a low cost alternative to engineering level sensors.

The Kinect is a sensor unto itself. It captures about 9 million data points per second. These types of scanning tools, also known as LIDAR, are bulky, use laser pulses to measure distances and can measure many miles away. A system like this could cost over $10,000. Or one could use the Kinect for around $120 and take measurements up to 16 feet. The Kinect does not use LIDAR, but is an inexpensive short range substitute for LIDAR. LIDER uses a spinning laser and can only measure in 2D.

The XLS claims to use LIDAR, however this is false. Truth is an XLS camera is the same as an SLS camera. Neither uses true LIDAR. What they are using is a substitute for LIDAR, the Kinect sensors.

LIDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging. It uses a spinning laser to scan the room. This is a cumbersome device and requires special training to use. LIDAR requires an onboard computer with massive computing power to analyze the data in real time.

Fig. 3 LIDAR Systems

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