New Depth Camera: Orbbec Femto Bolt unlocks unprecedented quality

Depthkit captures are sharper than ever with the Femto Bolt depth camera's nearly doubled color resolution and 4x more accurate calibrations.

December 18, 2023

Depthkit hardware just got the biggest update since launch! The all-new Orbbec Femto Bolt depth camera, alongside the latest generation NVIDIA graphics cards and Intel processors, achieves unparalleled capture quality.

Depthkit Studio's refreshed Hardware Packages featuring Orbbec Femto Bolt are shipping today! If you’re ready to get equipped with the latest in volumetric video, email to place an order or schedule a live demo with our team.

Showcasing the bold fashion of EMME Studio with new Depthkit Studio and Femto Bolt

We couldn't wait to start working with our creative community using the new Depthkit Studio with Femto Bolt. Scatter invited our friends Korina Emmerich (Project Runway, EMME Studio) and Split Ends Media, Co-Producers, Barrie Adleberg and Stina Hamlin, to create a volumetric video look book of their latest styles.

Depthkit Studio captures for EMME Studio volumetric video lookbook preview. Models: Diannah Reid and Delfina Roybal

Check out the videos and images below for a sneak peek at the upcoming EMME Studio augmented reality experience.

Artist and designer Korina Emmerich founded the slow fashion brand EMME Studio in 2015. Her colorful work celebrates her patrilineal Indigenous heritage from The Puyallup tribe while aligning art and design with education. With a strong focus on social and climate justice, Emmerich's artwork strives to expose and dismantle systems of oppression in the fashion industry and challenge colonial ways of thinking.

EMME Studio's bold colors, textures and patterns were the perfect fit to show off the new capabilities of Depthkit Studio and Femto Bolt. Scroll down to the end of the post to learn more about Emmerich's artwork and how you can get your hands on EMME Studio originals. Keep your eyes out for the full augmented reality experience coming in 2024.

Read on for a deeper dive into the technical details of Depthkit Studio release featuring Femto Bolt.

Now Shipping: Depthkit Studio's refreshed Hardware Packages achieve nearly double color resolution with Femto Bolt and latest NVIDIA graphics.

Today's release includes refreshed Depthkit Studio Hardware packages which are now shipping! Check out the behind the scenes from the EMME studio shoot at Scatter's Depthkit stage where we compared Femto Bolt with Azure Kinect DK.

Behind the scenes shot of the Depthkit Studio capture stage equipped with Femto Bolt during the EMME Studio shoot.

This hardware refresh unlocks higher resolution 1440p capture on the 10-camera package, an increase of almost 2x from the previous 1080p limit. Not only does this update include the Femto Bolt camera, we've upgraded to the latest NVIDIA RTX 4000 Ada generation graphics and 14th generation Intel processors. All this new functionality is available at the same affordable prices for 6 or 10 sensor preconfigured hardware kits.

Drop a line to to place an order or schedule a consultation to get equipped with the latest Depthkit Studio hardware today.

Orbbec Femto Bolt takes the lead as the highest quality depth camera on the market.

Depth cameras power Depthkit's magical ability to produce high quality volumetric video in a low cost, portable form factor. Beyond capturing color video, depth cameras sense the shape of the world. A separate depth video is generated from active lasers and sensors embedded in the camera's hardware. This combination of both depth and color streams allow Depthkit to reconstruct captures in high fidelity 3D, at full motion frame rates, with just 10 or fewer cameras. Without the power of active laser depth sensing, achieving equivalent capture quality would require as many as 30 to 100 standard color video cameras!

The new Femto Bolt (right) compared to the previous generation Azure Kinect (left)

Until recently, the Microsoft Azure Kinect DK camera was the highest quality depth camera on the market. The Femto Bolt, released in August as part of the licensing deal from Microsoft to Orbbec, carries the same best-in-class depth sensing module as the Azure Kinect DK. An upgraded 4k color camera is paired with the depth sensor, packaged into slimmer form factor with higher precision electronics.

We conducted a side by side comparison with 10 Azure Kinects mounted next to 10 Femto Bolts. With Depthkit Studio we are able see the improvements in the new hardware shine through in the captures.

The Femto Bolt gets the details right.

The Femto Bolt's many smart design details add up to big quality improvement when compared to the Azure Kinect DK.

Best-in-class Depth Sensing directly from Microsoft.

Femto Bolt features Microsoft's best-in-class reliable Time of Flight depth sensing technology.

The heart of the depth camera is the depth sensor, custom optics and specialized image processing algorithms which provide the baseline for real-world high precision quality sensing of space. Orbbec Femto Bolt, with identical depth camera operation modes and performance as the Microsoft Azure Kinect DK, has ensured Depthkit Studio's geometry processing quality has been maintained with the new camera.

Superior color image quality with higher dynamic range and reduced lens flares.

Beyond matching depth sensing quality, the Femto Bolt shows clear improvement in color image when compared the Azure Kinect DK. It includes an optional High Dynamic Range mode for richer color in challenging lighting situations.

Side by side comparison of an Azure Kinect (left) and Femto Bolt (right) where the purple lens flares are completely gone.

The high quality lenses completely reduce flares and glare. While it may seem like a small detail, lens flares are a pernicious issue for multi-camera capture as they result in glaring texture artifacts and inconsistencies in the final capture. Compounding this issue, the 360º surround inside-out lighting configurations needed for full body volumetric video create a worst-case condition for lens flares. Experienced Depthkit Studio operators can all share horror stories of hours spent mitigating lens flares with hoods, flags and moving lights. We're excited that those days are now behind us!

Accurate onboard depth-to-color alignment results in crisp texturing free from spill and ghosting.

Azure Kinect DK devices suffered from factory calibration issues leading to image artifacts and painstaking need to conduct manual alignment verification. We were thrilled to discover that the Femto Bolt's calibration is 4x as accurate! In practice, we have not seen any issues with factory calibrations on the Femto Bolt cameras. Increased reliability on calibrations means multi-camera calibrations in Depthkit Studio are much sharper, with less texture spill and texture ghosting. The Femto Bolt calibrations are not just more accurate, they are reliable across devices. There's no longer a need to sift through devices to find one with less error.

Side by side comparison of a 10-camera Depthkit capture with Azure Kinect (left) and Femto Bolt (right) to see the sharper calibrations.

Smaller form factor for portability and easier mounting.

Maintaining Depthkit's portability and flexibility is one of our top priorities. The Femto Bolt helps in this department at half the size of the Azure Kinect DK!

Microsoft Azure Kinect DK (left) compared to Orbbect Femto Bolt (right)
Microsoft Azure Kinect DK (left) compared to the much more compact Orbbec Femto Bolt (right)

Secure, clean cable runs with star configured sync and locked USB.

Orbbec has opted for screw-locked USB3.0 cables which prevent accidental disconnections from loose cables. The synchronization cables are also improved with a star-format cable configuration emanating from a dedicated sync hub, all over Ethernet. Both of these fine details contribute to more reliable, cleaner physical setups.

Locking USB and Ethernet sync in a star configuration are two more advantages of the Femto Bolt hardware

Reliable clocks reduce time sync drift by 10x and eliminate sensor interference.

Last year we introduced a professional hardware system to Depthkit Studio to synchronize clocks between external audio, cinema cameras and the Azure Kinect DK. This system was driven by significant temporal drift observed between the Azure Kinect clocks when running independently - about 10 frames for a 10 minute recording. The Femto Bolt has demonstrated only 1 frame of drift over the same capture duration, allowing us to remove the need to bridge the clocks in hardware.

Another welcome aspect of the Femto Bolt's precision clock timing is that the device has eliminated a sensor interference issue that would occur intermittently with 10 cameras on the Azure Kinect.

In total, the Femto Bolt's many detailed improvements in color, calibration and clock sync accuracy add up to a big upgrade in quality and reliability with Depthkit Studio.

Want to learn more about the looks featured above from EMME Studio and Relative Arts?

EMME Studio, our launch partner featured above, has recently co-founded the new atelier, gallery, showroom, and community space Relative Arts NYC located in New York City's East Village celebrating sustainable and subversive art and fashion. Head to there in person or to the online store to freshen up your wardrobe while you support their important cause.

Relative Arts is an Indigenous-owned new brick-and-mortar community space, open atelier, and shop displaying contemporary Indigenous fashion and design. Founding members, Korina Emmerich (Puyallup), and Liana Shewey (Mvskoke) built the space to host classes with Indigenous guest instructors, and as an event space, hosting gallery shows, poetry readings, intimate musical performances, and knowledge-sharing events, in a comfortable and safe environment. "Our mission is to provide a peer-run space in New York City to celebrate and foster the advancement of Indigenous futurism in fashion and art through representation and education."

Korina Emmerich has worked as a special advisor and educator with The Slow Factory Foundation and The Fibers Fund, and has been a community organizer with the Indigenous Kinship Collective. Her work has been featured in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Moma PS1, The Denver Art Museum, Vogue, Elle, Instyle, Fashion, Flare, New York Magazine, Project Runway and more notable publications. She has presented her collections in Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week, Indigenous Fashion and Arts, Santa Fe Indian Market's Couture Runway Show, and New York Fashion Week.

Scatter is grateful for the collaboration for today's release, and can't wait to launch the look book in Augmented Reality in 2024.

Are you ready to setup your volumetric video capture studio with the latest generation hardware? Email to place an order or schedule a live demo with our team. We're excited about the new improvements that come along with Femto Bolt and look forward to seeing a boost in quality for all our community who adopts the new cameras.

Want to buy your own hardware? No problem. Orbbec Femto Bolt camera support is coming soon to all Depthkit Core, Cinema and studio subscribers with the latest software upgrade, at no additional cost.  If you're an Azure Kinect DK owner, rest assured Depthkit will maintain support for the cameras into the foreseeable future.

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