Spectral Edge's is licensing this technology to SoC manufacturers, such as HiSilicon or Ambarella, as opposed to manufacturing their own chips or even their own cameras using Fusion.
Do they truly have blocking patents that they can license? Clearly, they did not invent the RGB+IR sensors, so their technology is primarily signal processing related?
The demo of the partial IR+white light illumination is neat, but it feels like that would mostly be an edge case. Illumination would typically be similar across the entire image, it might change frequently, but having an image that is all RGB or all IR exposed for any given frame is more likely to be the case than frames that are half and half.
This feels like something between a patent troll and a lazy developer to me.
This would be extremely useful in outdoor environments, if not required, once this gets a foothold in mainstream production. How many suspect vehicles can you eliminate when you've determined it was a Maroon Full-size truck vs a "dark-colored" truck? This feature could be a fantastic addition to the consumer market in something like a Ring Floodlight cam, where the transition from IR to Color is painstakingly slow. Same with any install outdoors where the light could change quickly, from floodlights, headlights
Not every camera in every application would benefit, but I could see this being a big perk for outdoor installs. An evenly lit scene is ideal and obviously makes life easier, but how often is that reality?
I think the overall concept of RGB+IR video is very useful. I question the need to do individual images that are half and half, particularly to the extent that is causes a manufacturer to want to license some idea where the manufacturer still needs to do most of the work of implementation.