Point Grey Research releases USB 2.0 cameras, joins Cognex's Alliance program

SEPTEMBER 3, 2008--Starting in September, Point Grey will introduce new USB 2.0 products including the Chameleon. Point Grey Research also has joined the newly launched Acquisition Alliance program of machine-vision software supplier Cognex Corp.

Sep 3rd, 2008

SEPTEMBER 3, 2008--Point Grey Research Inc. (Richmond, BC, Canada; www.ptgrey.com), a supplier of advanced imaging products, is adding USB 2.0 cameras to its existing line of FireWire cameras.

Starting in September, Point Grey will introduce new USB 2.0 products including the Chameleon, which uses a high-sensitivity 1.3-Mpixel Sony EXview HAD CCD for quality images, and a USB 2.0 version of the Firefly MV. The cameras are designed to address applications in the machine vision and computer vision industries such as object and gesture tracking, test and measurement, life sciences, augmented reality, and robot guidance.

"Point Grey is seeing more and more single-camera applications that require the extreme ease-of-use that is only available with USB 2.0," says Vladimir Tucakov, director of sales and marketing at Point Grey Research. "For most of these new opportunities, long cable length is not required and a maximum data rate of 480 Mbits/s is sufficient. The customer wants to be able to simply plug the camera into a computer where connecting a separate FireWire interface card is either difficult or just not possible."

USB 2.0 is gaining industry acceptance due to its general availability on a variety of hardware platforms. The majority of laptop, desktop, and embedded systems provide high-speed USB ports, which maximizes system compatibility and minimizes the need for add-in PCI or PCI Express interface cards. Easy access to high-quality, low-cost components like cables and hubs also allows end users to lower the overall cost of their systems.

"One question that has come up is whether this means we will stop making FireWire cameras," adds Tucakov. "The answer to that is a definite 'no.' Quite simply, we believe in working with technologies that we think make sense and have a future. We are excited about new advances in FireWire technology that will double the bandwidth and increase cable lengths. Similarly, knowing that work is progressing on USB 3.0, which is expected to increase the maximum data rate to 4.8 Gbits/s, also played a part in our decision to enter this market."

Point Grey Research also has joined the newly launched Acquisition Alliance program of machine-vision software supplier Cognex Corp. (Natick, MA, USA; www.cognex.com).

The program is designed to strengthen the strategic partnership between both vendors to better serve customers using Cognex VisionPro software and Point Grey digital video cameras for their applications. Key components of the program include the integration of Point Grey cameras with the Cognex VisionPro software as soon as new cameras are released to the market, and VisionPro camera qualification and testing, as well as product cross-training to ensure better customer service.

John Petry, business unit marketing manager at Cognex, says, "By integrating Point Grey cameras with Cognex's VisionPro software, the entire Point Grey product line will be accessible to VisionPro customers, and new cameras will be supported as soon as they are released."

All Point Grey IEEE-1394 cameras are fully compliant with the IIDC 1394-based Digital Camera (DCAM) specification, and are therefore compatible with all software packages and drivers that support this specification.

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