Computer vision is the use of digital processing and intelligent algorithms to interpret meaning from images or video. Due to the emergence of very powerful, low-cost and energy-efficient processors, it has become possible to incorporate vision capabilities in a range of embedded systems.
Last May, several leading technology firms got together in Oakland, USA, to form the Embedded Vision Alliance (EVA). The initiative's motto: To enable "machines that see!" This concept generally refers to machines that understand their environment through visual means.
First, what is embedded vision ?
It is said to be merging of two technologies: embedded systems and computer vision (also sometimes referred to as machine vision). An embedded system is any microprocessor-based system that isn’t a general-purpose computer. Embedded systems are ubiquitous: they’re found in automobiles, kitchen appliances, consumer electronics devices, medical equipment, and countless other places.
Computer vision is the use of digital processing and intelligent algorithms to interpret meaning from images or video. Computer vision has mainly been a field of academic research over the past several decades.
Today, however, a major transformation is underway. Due to the emergence of very powerful, low-cost, and energy-efficient processors, it has become possible to incorporate vision capabilities into a wide range of embedded systems.
1. A smart surveillance system that analyses the area in front of its cameras and captures footage only when particular situation arise, such as motion is detected. Such a system could also alert its owner to hte potential problem situation via e-mail, text message etc. One example could be a system that constantly monitors a swimming pool and sounds an alarm if it detects people struggling and in danger of droning.
2. Automotive Driver Assisting system that, for example alerting an driver of impending collision with objects ahead or even automatically slam on the brakes. The system could also inform the driver about important warning or important signs of the roadway.
3. Facial recognition systems that automatically 'unlock' a smart phone and load particular account settings when they recognise the person in front of the camera lens.
4. Gesture interfaces like that in the Microsoft Kinect for Xbox360, which give a simpler and more intuitive interactive experience for users of a variety of equipment, not just gaming consoles.
5. Medical instrumentation that automatically senses and logs respiration rate, heart rate and other vital parameters, and also analyses X-ray and other images for anomalies, helping physicians in diagnosis of the disorders.
6. Manufacture of automated control and defect analysis equipment, formely implemented using dedicated high-end workstation computers and operating systems but now possible in much simpler, more rugged, compact and inexpensive forms.
Embedded vision finds applications in diverse fields including automotive safety, machine vision, military and aerospace, and so on.