Cary Horan: Product Manager, Sensors and Modules Cary Horan attended Georgia Institute of Technology where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is currently the Sensor Product Manager for Omron, serving as America’s technical contact for Omron’s diverse sensor product offerings. He has expertise in the manufacturing field, including Smart Home Building (SHB), Healthcare, and Commercial applications.

Omron’s Innovative Solutions in Optical Sensing

In partnership with Omron


As a leading innovator in the realm of sensors and sensing products, Omron continues to develop solutions to best suit the growing needs of a touchless society. With Smart Home and Building, Internet of Things (IoT), and Healthcare in mind, Omron introduces the B5L Time of Flight Sensor and new versions of the B5W Light Convergent Sensor to meet high demand.


Time of Flight Sensor (ToF) - B5L

Omron's latest in this field is the B5L Time of Flight sensor, which offers fast 2D and 3D renderings of environment objects using reflective LED technology.

Product Advantages

  • 3D Distance Sensing - Sensor uses LED technology to measure distance of stationary or moving objects, and can generate a 3D map of the room
  • Light Immunity - Direct light up to 100,000lx does not affect sensor performance
  • High Accuracy - Sensor can output data up to 20fps
  • Long Life Span - Up to 5 years of life under continuous operation

The ToF sensor was originally developed as a low-cost replacement of expensive LiDAR sensors, typically used for robot navigation in Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) systems. The low-energy B5L technology allows for all the capabilities of an expensive LiDAR sensor in a smaller, easier to use package. Recent developments have shown the sensor to be successfully used in the patient monitoring industry. The ToF sensor allows for effective person monitoring without identifying persons detected. Currently, Omron engineers are developing additional software to track skeletal positions of persons that are detected by this sensor.



Light Convergent Sensor - B5W

Omron's success in optical sensing technology paved the way for product development in its B5W light convergent sensor series. These sensors are designed in a wide variety of applications, as they are capable of detecting all different types of objects, including reflective and transparent materials.


Product Advantages

  • Several Existing Form factors - The B5W family covers analog, digital, short and long distance sensors in standard or ultra-compact package sizes
  • Material Agnostic - Able to detect a wide range of objects, including white, black, transparent, and reflective
  • Long Distance Version - Recent release of long distance version, detecting objects up to one meter away
  • Superior Lens Technology - Allows for precise measurements, even behind a clear shield


The design of the B5W sensor was developed as a way to detect a variety of different objects within industrial or manufacturing equipment. This is especially due to its advantages in detecting a wide range of materials. As the need for touchless solutions grows in consumer products, the B5W sensor can function as a primary mechanism for hands-free technology. This sensor is capable of working behind various different transparent materials to protect it from harsh environments, and is in development as a touchless sensor module, which includes a 3D see-through LED panel.



Learn more about these and other Omron products, including sensors, relays, switches, and connectors at


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Author: Cary Horan, Product Manager – Sensors & Modules

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