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How did you get the idea?
While working on our robot Doki and our Adswitch software (see IE website), we started to wonder about detecting patterns less ambiguous than human faces. Using the same sophistication we had applied to Adswitch, where we developed a library of complex algorithms and trained artificial neural networks with hundreds of thousands of examples of faces we wondered how much faster and more precise our detection could be if the pattern was stable, exactly defined and with ideal contrast. This lead to the design of our patterned holos sphere, for which we were eventually able to achieve a 3D positional and orientational detection accuracy many orders of magnitude better than for human faces (angular: 1/15 of a degree, positional: 0.2 mm) and also at 4 times the speed (60 frames per second) and only using a fraction of the computational load (<12% of processor).
How long have you been working on this?
Our very first, very crude proof-of-concept prototype for HOLOS vIWB with a huge sphere, took only a few months to build and program and started to show potential already in November 2006 when we applied for patents. At the time it was largely unclear however whether all the large challenges regarding sphere size, detection speed, detection range and accuracy, computational load, robustness against background light, camera cost, battery duration etc. could ever be solved to turn the idea into a viable product. In the years since we have worked hard and managed to overcome all the major obstacles step by step pushing up the performance while at the same time reducing computational load and BOM costs to a degree we had not thought possible initially and recently even approaching military grade precision.

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