And now for something completely different . . .

When I was in high school, I was not very good at math. I often sat for hours puzzling over integral calculus homework. My father frequently helped by suggesting rules and tricks to solve those problems. Sometimes, he became very frustrated. One day when I could not solve a particular problem he stormed off. Then he stormed back. "Remember," he said, "each page in that book is worth $1." To my father, an engineer, knowledge was power.

And now for something completely different . . .

Andy Wilson Editor

andyw@pennwell.com

When I was in high school, I was not very good at math. I often sat for hours puzzling over integral calculus homework. My father frequently helped by suggesting rules and tricks to solve those problems. Sometimes, he became very frustrated. One day when I could not solve a particular problem he stormed off. Then he stormed back. "Remember," he said, "each page in that book is worth $1." To my father, an engineer, knowledge was power.

Several decades and a few therapists later, I welcome you to the premiere issue of Vision Systems Design. As a publication tailored for engineers and engineering managers building vision systems for industrial, medical, military, and scientific markets, this magazine is unique. Every month we will bring you news, feature articles, and the latest OEM products for image capture, processing, storage, transmission, and display.

Faster, cheaper, simpler

In the few years that I have not covered vision systems, a lot has changed. The Digital Equipment Company old advertising logo "Faster, cheaper, simpler, Digital" still holds true. Image processors are faster, frame grabbers are cheaper, user-interface development tools are simpler, and solid-state cameras are turning digital. Despite these changes, much has remained the same. Some technical journals continue to publish technical articles with esoteric titles of practical use to few. Imaging associations, trade shows, and conference groups continue their political battles. Few standards exist.

Luckily for systems integrators, the turnover of people in companies involved in designing vision subsystems and systems is very low. Because of this, developers can call on a wealth of experience from OEMs. One reason for this low turnover may be that vision systems present real challenges to design engineers. Another may be that vision-systems designers like to play God. If man can build a machine to capture an image, then why can`t he build one to interpret that image in the same (or better way) than a human being. To build such systems cost-effectively, you will need information that`s not esoteric--information that describes the OEM hardware, software, and systems to cost-effectively build vision systems and information that shows you how other systems integrators have put together their systems. And that`s the raison d`etre behind Vision Systems Design.

On every page of this publication we will endeavor to provide you with the build-or-buy information you`ll need when specifying your next vision system. Our feature articles will provide you with in-depth technical knowledge of how the latest vision systems are being designed. And our Spotlight and Product Focus articles will keep you up to date with leading-edge developments and product trends.

At Vision Systems Design, we realize product life- cycles are getting shorter. That`s why, if you need to contact our editors, authors, or any of the companies mentioned, we have provided telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, and World Wide Web sites, where appropriate.

Because Vision Systems Design is a practical systems-integration magazine, you, the reader, will have a large part to say in our coverage. If you have designed a vision system that you would like others to hear about, please let me know. Call me at (603) 891-9115 or send me an e-mail message at andyw@pennwell.com. If you are reading someone else`s copy and would like to subscribe, you can do so electronically by visiting our World Wide Web site at http://www.vision-systems- design.com.

So look through this issue. I think you will agree that every page is worth at least $1.

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