Editor’s Note: Rounding out the year

Oct. 14, 2021
While we haven’t quite arrived at normalcy yet, the opportunity to meet face to face at VISION was proof that we are well on our way.
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Well, 2021 has proven to be another challenging year around the world. COVID-19 stuck around longer than we hoped it would, and the Delta variant made it difficult to travel. Events bouncing back did not happen as widely as we would have liked.

As 2021 draws to a close, I look back at the challenges I’ve faced this year. There are the usual types—my oldest son started college, and dropping him off and swallowing the lump in my throat was certainly a challenge. Adjusting to the resurgence of COVID-19 in places and the return of certain masking requirements was a challenge. I can’t count the number of times during the last year and a half I’ve forgotten a mask and realized it just as I pulled up to the store.Certainly, starting a new job this year has been a challenge. And, the new job has been a great challenge to tackle.

Although the COVID-19 resurgence reinstated certain requirements, it did not stop VISION 2021 from taking place in Stuttgart, Germany. Slightly smaller in scale than a typical VISION show, it nonetheless brought together machine vision market players large and small and more than 5,000 attendees who, according to exhibitors, were well informed and in a buying mode. They arrived at the show in search of vendors who could solve their very specific problems.

While at the show, I had numerous conversations, and those with whom I spoke expressed very carefully thought-out opinions about a number of technologies available in the machine vision market. It made me think about the expression about having tools for your toolbox. I’m a volunteer firefighter, and we use that expression all the time. For example, there are a number of ways to extinguish a fire: dry powder extinguisher, CO2 extinguisher, water, foam, compressed air foam, etc. Not every method is appropriate for every fire. But, each is a tool in the toolbox. No one says fire departments must use one of these methods all the time. For machine vision, it all comes back to no application being the same, and therefore no imaging system (mostly) being the same. The tool depends on the problem that needs to be solved. At VISION, I got a chance to see a lot of tools for the toolbox.

As I round out the year, I also think about the heightened awareness to the imaging technologies that exist all around us. For example, I look at things that just seemed cool in the past in a whole different way. Now, I think about the technology used, which vendors produced it, how the images are processed, and what's done with the information.

So, it’s been quite a year. On January 1, 2021, most of us were quite happy to bid 2020 farewell and get back to normalcy, and while we haven’t quite arrived at normalcy yet, the opportunity to meet face to face at VISION was proof that we are well on our way. My thanks to all who have supported Vision Systems Design during 2021, and I extend my best wishes to all our readers for a happy and healthy 2022.

About the Author

Chris Mc Loone | Editor in Chief

Former Editor in Chief Chris Mc Loone joined the Vision Systems Design team as editor in chief in 2021. Chris has been in B2B media for over 25 years. During his tenure at VSD, he covered machine vision and imaging from numerous angles, including application stories, technology trends, industry news, market updates, and new products.

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