This disclosure describes low-weight, low-cost, high-efficiency techniques to project coherent infrared dots onto a subject to sense the depth contour of the subject while capturing a photograph. The techniques generate dot patterns of high number and density. A phase diffuser placed in the path of an infrared laser beam causes the wavefront of the laser beam to develop random undulations. The speckle pattern formed at the plane of the subject due to the randomized wavefront serves as a matrix of infrared dots.
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Perreault, John D., "Dot projector based on phase diffuser", Technical Disclosure Commons, (January 10, 2020)