DURHAM – Fresh off its recent $26 million capital fund raiser, Sense Photonics, a startup focused on building the next generation of 3D sensor solutions, is now accepting preorders for its Sense Solid-State Flash LiDAR, an industrial-grade 3D time-of-flight (ToF) camera that the company says is a big advance in the field.

And more new tech is coming.

“This product is strictly for industrial usage only,” a company spokesperson tells WRAL TechWire. “Sense Photonics will announce an AV [autonomous vehicle] product at a later time.”

The Durham-based firm said the camera features a wide field-of-view and has the longest performance-grade range available in the market — up to 40 meters.

The sensor is available in three customizable variations – Sense 30, Sense 60, and Sense 75.

Individual units are priced at $2,900 plus shipping, with first shipments scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2020.

“We’re excited to bring to market the next generation of 3D sensing with a powerful combination of features that are collectively unmatched in the industrial marketplace,” Sense Photonics CEO Scott Burroughs said in a release.

“When you look at the leading industrial-focused 3D sensors, they typically have very short range performance, don’t work well in outdoor sunlight, have interference issues, or are very expensive. We are pleased by the feedback we’re getting as customers learn that our unique offering is the answer to these problems.”

Sense Solid-State Flash LiDAR … the perspective from underneath.

The ‘soft launch’ comes on the back of its $26 million Series A funding round in June. Acadia Woods and Congruent Ventures co-lead the round. It also announced plans to open an Advanced LiDAR Research and Development Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland.

“The company is in a good place cash-wise and will begin a Series B round in 2020 to expand its product line and reach new markets,” company spokesperson Anthony Baldini told WRAL TechWire.

The startup also recently added automation and robotics expert Gabe Sibley to the board of directors. Sibley is the founder and CEO of Verdant Robotics and “will contribute his experience in automation and success in fundraising to the team,” said Baldini..

Launched in 2016, the company utilizes radar known as LiDAR (which stands for light detection and ranging) and 3D sensor technology.

Rather than using complex scanning solutions to create an image pixel-by-pixel, this approach captures the entire frame at once, similar to a camera.

Called “Flash LiDAR,” it delivers high performance 3D sensing that is “simple, modular, scalable and reliable,” the firm has said.

Already, Sense holds intellectual property protected by some 200 patents and could bring products to market as early as this year.

Some industry experts see LiDAR as a big market with a potential value of $200 billion.

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