Devices such as smartphones, tablets, etc. are equipped with cameras that have depth-sensing capabilities. The quality of depth acquisition in such devices is often limited by the cost, available physical space for depth-sensing hardware, and by the ambient light conditions in which an image is captured. This disclosure describes a depth-sensing camera system that utilizes a switchable infrared filter. In an IR-cut mode, used when ambient light is of sufficient quality, the filter allows visible light to pass through and cuts off IR. In an IR-pass mode, used in low light conditions, the filter allows IR to pass through while cutting off visible light. The camera system enables high resolution depth acquisition in arbitrary light conditions at low cost and with compact hardware.
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Chu, Ping Tong and Wan, Chung Chun, "Ambient Light Independent Depth Acquisition Using Switchable IR filter", Technical Disclosure Commons, (July 01, 2020)