Prophesee’s sensors claim to improve camera performance, particularly in fast-moving dynamic scenes (e.g. sport scenes) and in low light through its event-based continuous and asynchronous pixel sensing approach.
Prophesee claims that it sensors allow machines to see hyper-fast and fleeting events at a sub-millisecond time scale with only the essence of the scene being recorded so using 10 to 1000 times less data processed in comparison to standard approaches.
Each pixel only reports when it senses movement. Whereas in a frame-based sensor all pixels record at the same time, in an event-based sensor each pixel is perfectly independent.
The sensors have a resolution of 1280x720px with a ‘Time Resolution Equivalent’ of 10k fps, a dynamic range of 120dB and a low light cut off at 0.08 Lux.
Video 1 – Sports scene: Preliminary deblurring results on high-speed scene, obtained combining Prophesee Metavision sensor and algorithms with Snapdragon platform.
Prophesee’s sensors focus only on changes in a scene, pixel by pixel, continuously at extreme speeds.
Each pixel in the Metavision sensor embeds a logic core, enabling it to act as a neuron.
They each activate themselves intelligently and asynchronously depending on the amount of photons they sense.
A pixel activating itself is called an event. In essence, events are driven by the scene’s dynamics, not an arbitrary clock anymore, so the acquisition speed always matches the actual scene dynamics.
High-performance event-based deblurring is achieved by synchronising a frame-based and Prophesee’s event-based sensor.
The system then fills the gaps between and inside the frames with microsecond events to algorithmically extract pure motion information and repair motion blur.
The sensors are fabbed by Sony with which Prophesee has a product development collaboration.
Last September, Prophesee completed a Series C round of €50 million with the addition of a new investment from Prosperity7 ventures. The initial Series C investors werr Sinovation Ventures and Xiaomi, joining previous investors Intel Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, 360 Capital, iBionext and the European Investment Bank. Prophesee has raised $127 million since its founding in 2014.