Embedded vision is a relatively new technology, but the market is shaping up nicely for strong growth in the near and long term. Advances in new embedded vision technology continue to drive the market forward while demand rises for complex imaging in a compact package with little power consumption.
In the history of computing, the relationship between power, size, and mass consumption has been constant. Today’s iPhones have several thousand times more processing power than NASA’s Apollo command modular computers. Computing technology progresses rapidly over the course of just a few decades and the same explosive growth is expected for embedded vision.
Smart Cameras are Currently the Top Use of Embedded Vision
Smart cameras bring traditional machine vision capabilities and embedded functionality together to create an all-in-one vision system. Demand for these cameras is strong. The market for smart cameras in North America grew 25% year-over-year in 2017 to $408 million – the fastest growing category in the vision industry.
From image recognition to in-machine inspection, smart cameras are able to automate a wide range of tasks that require a unique combination of high performance and small size. While they’re currently leading the way in terms of embedded vision sales, there are other technologies driving the embedded vision market.
Processing Capabilities Drive Embedded Vision Performance and Market Share
Advances in processing capabilities have led to smaller, faster, and more power-efficient embedded vision systems. Most image processing applications today leverage some combination of a central processing unit (CPU) with a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), graphics processing unit (CPU), or low-power ARM core.
Each type of processing unit has its own pros and cons and creates very different embedded systems. FPGAs, for example, are used extensively in medical imaging because they reduce component costs and power consumption. FPGAs are now widely used in endoscopy, surgery, microscopy, dermatology, ophthalmology, and dentistry.
The processing power of embedded vision systems, in relation to their compact size, is a key aspect of their development as a technology and their commercial potential in a wide range of applications.
The future of embedded vision looks bright. While it’s a relatively new technology, hardware and software advances are expanding the market for embedded vision technology.
To take a deeper dive into the latest embedded vision developments, read our featured article, “Advances in Embedded Vision Pave Profitable Path.”