We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Sony to use CMOS sensors to check your skin for blemishes

The Japanese company said its has a new technology based on its digital imaging chips and 'skin-analyzing algorithms'

Sony has developed new technology for using the small cameras in phones and tablets to check the health of users' skin.

The company said Monday its new "Smart Skin Evaluation Program," or SSKEP, can analyze different wavelengths of light reflected from a subject's skin to determine texture, pigmentation and melanin levels. Blemishes below the surface of the skin can also be detected.

Sony said SSKEP uses its CMOS image sensor technology, where it is an industry leader, together with newly developed software that inspects digital image data one pixel at a time for possible irregularities. The company said that non-visible light, including that near the infrared spectrum, can be used to peek beneath the skin's surface.

Sony said it "anticipates a diverse range of applications" for the technology, but offered no specifics. In Japan, skin health care products, as well as analysis and treatment at clinics, is a booming industry, especially for women patients.

The company said it wants to expand the use of its CMOS sensors, which teardowns have shown are used in advanced phones such as Apple's iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3. It aims to expand them to serve as "sensors" rather than simple cameras, capable of detecting and analyzing movements, shapes and colors in different contexts.

While struggling Sony is moving to outsource many of the components used in its electronic products as part of its restructuring plan, the company is actively promoting its image sensors, especially those used in portable gadgets. In June, Sony said it will invest US$1 billion to increase production of such sensors by September 2013.

In August, Sony began sales of its new "stacked" image sensors. The chips use a technology that "stacks" their processing circuitry under the pixels used to capture images, as opposed to laying it alongside as in current versions, leading to a smaller footprint that is more power efficient with faster processing.


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

LED vs Halogen: Why now could be the right time to invest in LED bulbs

IDG UK Sites

Christmas' best ads: See great festive spots studios have created to promote themselves and clients

IDG UK Sites

Why Apple shouldn't be blamed for exploitation in China and Indonesia