STMicroelectronics N.V. (STM) developed an image processor that can determine the distance between a display screen and a viewer and demonstrated it at FPD International 2010/Green Device 2010.
The image processor is targeted at TVs, PCs and so forth. The company expects that the processor is used to estimate the distance between a screen and a viewer from an image taken by the camera embedded in a TV or a PC and adjust the volume of speakers and 3D effects. Also, when the user moves parallel to the screen, the volumes of the right and left speakers can be separately controlled.
The image processor can be used not only for measuring the distance between a screen and a viewer but also for recognizing the viewer's face. Equipped with an illuminance sensor function, it can adjust the brightness of the LED backlight of an LCD panel.
STM plans to embed the new image processor in a camera module that is equipped with a lens and approximately measures 6 x 6 x 3.4mm. It intends to change the performance of the camera module depending on application. For example, the company plans to use a camera module with a high pixel count of 600 x 200 for TVs because they are normally used in a living room and the distance between a screen and a viewer tends to be large.
STM will supply only the image processor and will not provide a camera module. It aims to commercialize the processor within 2011.