Ricoh exhibited a thin image sensor that allows closeup shooting 0 mm away from the subject and has a deep depth of field. The sensor module measures 15.2 x 15.2 x 3.7 mm, including the optical system such as lens and the CMOS sensor. According to the company, it is much thinner than the existing products because it only employs a microlens array for the optical system. The array is formed by densely arranging microlenses with a diameter of 200 μm. The entire array is designed to be flat. Ricoh utilized this proprietary microlens array in its LCD projectors and other products. The image sensor allows close-up shooting 0-5 mm away from the subject. To shoot at 0 mm distance, however, the light must be transmitted from the back of the subject.
The Ricoh sensor is on display at Auto-ID Expo 2007 as a reference presentation. It is expected to be incorporated in hand terminals used for reading RQ-code, a type of two-dimensional code, the company said. The QR-code can save space for printing the code on a product because it can be made as a small pattern of about 4 mm square.