“It depends on the application” and “It depends on who you talk to” are two answers I’ve heard repeatedly since I joined the staff at Vision Systems Design. For someone getting up to speed on everything, they aren’t always the most welcome responses. And so it has been as I got together information for our Product Focus on embedded vision in this issue. Having just added IoT Embedded Vision as a new category in our Buyers Guide (published in our March/April 2021 issue), I figured it was a good time to learn a bit more about this aspect of embedded vision. And, once again, I found a concrete definition was difficult to pin down. But, as with anything else, once the conversation got going, I could see how various embedded vision companies approach IoT embedded vision. As always, an example helps to bring the concept home for me, in this case a door lock example that illustrates IoT embedded vision on a basic scale but also indicates how much more powerful it can become. In the example, a door lock can “see” who is at the door, process the image data, and make one of three decisions: decide whether to unlock the door based on what it sees, send images of all visitors to the homeowner’s smartphone asking whether to unlock the door, or process the images locally and only ask the homeowner in specific scenarios. But, as with anything else, once the conversation got going, I could see how various embedded vision companies approach IoT embedded vision. So, check out this month’s Product Focus—it’s worth a look.
In the “didn’t think I’d see that there” category, I gave blood in March. I think by now anyone who gives blood has become accustomed to the litany of questions one must answer to get through the screening process. And yes, there’s an App for that, and it makes the whole process quicker. Around the same time, I received my COVID-19 vaccine in a hospital. When I got to the lobby, there was a thermometer that I had to walk up to and stand in front of, and it would take my temperature and announce it. No fever, no problem. I went about my business. For a blood donation, however, I stood in front of a camera and saw a thermal image of my head on the screen. Now, it wasn’t perfect. I stand 6’ 4” tall and needed to squat down a bit to get my head to fit into the frame the camera wanted. And, the attendant almost gave up and got the handheld out (always need a plan B) before the camera processed what it needed to and cleared me to make my donation. But, I didn’t expect to be exposed to this kind of image processing for a blood donation.
In our last issue I mentioned our Solutions in Vision Survey. The results are in and available for download at https://bit.ly/3atatz3. These results were generated by you regarding the industries you serve and the type of vision and imaging systems you use. Download the results, and you’ll find that what is used where, as usual, depends on the application.