Computer vision, a sector in automation and computer science, allows for imitating human vision and acts upon the factor of perception based on received images. Computer vision and artificial intelligence are highly intertwined. This branch incorporates AI to process images and videos and is used in controlling industrial automation processes, self-driving vehicles, detecting anomalies and flaws, predicting events, medical image analysis, etc. Advancements in AI is directly proportional to technical upgradations in computer vision technology.
But AI is not the only factor that effects computer vision. Economics suggests, increase in demand fuels an increase in technological prowess. Such is the case regarding computer vision where the market plays a key role in its growth.
Rise of computer vision
Computer vision has witnessed rampant commercialization in the past decade and is being deployed in a wide array of industries. Not surprisingly, these were just design concepts a few years ago but market demand finally caught up and had the stream on a full swing. We can attribute such rapid global adoption of machine vision to the following factors:
The x-factor of the computer vision system is its ability to process large amounts of graphical information in just a fraction of time. This is equivalent to two dozen humans tirelessly running every bit of information. This quick processing ability is what drives computer vision into some of the major sectors in the world. Especially in the manufacturing sector, computer vision has helped it reach new milestones and set benchmarks by producing defects of fewer products.
Moreover, as more and more industries embrace robots, there has been a rise in the usage of computer vision in such robotic systems, thereby dishing out vision-guided robotic systems. As fields such as automotive, pharmaceutical, and food-beverage are key users of the robotic system, they are also fuelling demand for machine vision solutions.
Depending on varied requirements regarding quality and safety, a computer vision system incorporates various hardware accessories to capture images, clips, and analyze them. These along with the AI and deep learning technology lends operational control to devices that capture and process images and execute specific functions as required for decision making. Some key hardware components include, if not limited to smart cameras, image sensors, lighting, vision processing, and communication devices.
Computer vision in the global market
According to leading market research reports:
“Global Computer Vision market revenue is estimated to grow across different industries, increasing from $2.9bn in 2018 to $33.5bn by 2025”
Here is how machine vision is increasingly finding its presence in different fields:
- The computer vision system is gaining ground in medical and healthcare systems. The CV analyses captured medical images and aid robotic systems to perform various medical activities and even foreseeing possible outcomes of surgery.
- The inspection process in the automotive industry performs flaw /error detection and thorough checking, which is the key factor for increased implementation of computer vision in the automotive sector. As a result, in 2017, the automotive sector held the lion’s share of the computer vision market.
- The ability of CV to oversee industrial processes lands it in the food and beverage sector which is expected to witness a rapid growth rate shortly. As of now, CV is extensively used to monitor bottling and packaging operations.
- In 2018, China stunned the world when it was reported that they have installed 349 million smart surveillance cameras, nearly 5 times the number of cameras in the United States. The system is known as “Skynet” and it identifies, tracks and records billions of individuals who step into its crosshair. Although that might sound dystopian and a bit uncomfortable, the fact that China has an entire diaspora tracked goes to show how far intelligent vision has come.
- Supply and logistics were an early introduction to computer vision technology. From keeping goods records to tracking items according to their labels and maintaining correct inventory; from the identification of items as per their tags to keeping a tab on fleet management and fleet operators, supply chain and computer vision works in perfect synergy.
- Two decades ago, drones were just toys to be controlled by a handheld remote. A decade ago, drones jumped from being mere toys to sophisticated tools for scouting, surveillance, and even military operations. Drones are unmanned miniature aircraft which are equipped with smart cameras, sensors, and controlled with the help of remote control. Drone technology has witnessed a meteoric rise as more and more drones are being used in the military, especially the US military. Automated drones are also making a mark.
- North America remains as the contender to dominate the computer vision market because of its extensive use across various industries, mainly the manufacturing and automotive. Merging surveillance systems with video analytics solution is one of the biggest factors in the growth of the market in this region. Hence, the North American market is predicted to be more lucrative, followed by Europe.
- Since computer vision is used in medical imaging, image recognition, and 3D printing, the Asia-pacific region is likely to see a big growth in CV technology. Far east nations such as China, South Korea, or Japan has seen governments investing in machine vision deep learning.
- Compared to those used in institutional or educational establishments, computer vision systems in the industrial complex are more robust and require high reliability, stability, and accuracy. However, they are not more expensive than systems used in military, aerospace, or administration. These are likely to yield greater adaptability and familiarity with the technology across various industrial sectors.
The computer vision technology genre continues to experience frequent and relentless transformation, all the while paving way for new technology upgrades. The integration of deep learning and AI with CV solutions has remarkably increased the level of effectiveness of the technology. No wonder computer vision has quickly seen itself in every other industry vertical. Smart computer vision is regarded as a high potential technology worth investing upon, and judging by the current scenario, the future looks bright.