Frequent travelers to conferences and tradeshows may find something missing when they next fumble around the aircraft seat back pocket for something to read. That's because, in January this year, SkyMall, the in-flight catalog often known for its somewhat strange product offerings, filed for bankruptcy. Although the company cited an increased use of electronic devices for the declining popularity of its catalogs, perhaps - just perhaps - SkyMall overlooked one other major factor - providing the reader with products that they may actually wish to purchase.
When I first stumbled across the catalog many years ago, I honestly thought it was a parody of Mad magazine. Who, for example, in their right mind would possibly need a raincoat for a dog, a "night glow" toilet or a Bigfoot tree Yeti sculpture? Personally speaking, I have no interest in such products or know of anyone who has ever purchased any one of them either by mail order or electronically.
Needless to say, Vision System Design's annual Buyers Guide published in this issue, does not contain any such products! As in previous years, the product and company listings found in this issue are preceded by a number of articles that show how such products are used in machine vision and image processing systems. Then, in the Buyers Guide, we have listed OEM suppliers of relevant vision and image processing equipment from over 450 companies in more than 50 product categories that include solid-state cameras, optics, lighting, add-in boards, monitors, automation equipment and software.
As well, this year's Buyers Guide contains a Product Guide to companies offering these products and a Company Directory with contact information. System Integrators and Manufacturer's Representatives are also listed by location.
Atwww.vision-systems.com, Internet users can search the entire Buyers Guide by category, company, or keyword. This fast and convenient Online Buyers Guide contains all the product, manufacturer, and systems integration information found in our print version. Better yet, it allows manufacturers to update their information dynamically as they introduce new products or services.
On our website, you will also find additional information to help you in the task of choosing such products and manufacturers for your next system. This includes an online Industrial Camera Directory that lists more than 200 camera vendors, their products and key camera specifications, the latest machine vision news and technology developments, tutorial-based webcasts, white papers and editorial digests.
Print copies of this issue will also be distributed at every major machine-vision trade show throughout the year. So, next time you visit a trade show, be sure to pick up a copy so that you have some pertinent information to read on the aircraft journey home.