Our technology our machines, is part of our humanity. We created them to extend ourselves, and that is what is unique about human beings! Ray Kurzweil
In the recent years, the need for machine vision technology has matured dramatically. Various uses of machine vision technologies have been adopted by industries including electronics, pharmaceuticals, food packaging, medical devices, automotive and consumer goods. This technology can be found in surveillance applications, wildlife monitoring, smart cars and even bionic vision.
These technologies could dramatically change way we do things. They could accelerate manufacturing process, or be used to track how fashion and consumer goods spread through cities. We could find ourselves in cars that drive themselves, arriving to stores that already know who we are and what we want. Entertainment options could multiply, and we could experience places around the world from the comfort of our homes. At its most promising, machine vision could improve quality of life and productivity around the world. Take a look at what I think are some of the most interesting applications around today.
Are Robot Cars the Key to Saving Millions?
Despite advances in car and road safety, 1.25 million people are killed on the world’s roads each year. Could self-driving cars be the solution to the globe’s deadly roads? A self-driving car is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input. The better the technology gets, the less involved the human driver will be. This reduction in human error could translate to hundreds of thousands of crashes averted. Driverless vehicles are usually outfitted with some combination of a GPS unit, an inertial navigation system, and many sensors including laser range finders, radar and video. Together, these sensors and systems feed the computer in the car valuable data about what’s going on outside. The computer is able to combine the data from outside conditions and known route characteristics in order to determine speed, proximity to other cars, and when to stop and start. Driverless cars are already safely cruising about many American cities, and as their algorithms, machine vision, and data processing abilities continue to be refined, we could see them even more!
Keeping an Eye on Fashion
Fashion companies eager to know what trends catch on and which are flops could start using machine vision to track how fashion spreads through society. Researchers from National Taiwan University in Taipei have trained machine visions algorithm to identify clothing and fashion objects in images, analyzing the color, texture, style, size and so on of various items. They then compared images of models from fashion runways to images of “street-chic,” featuring the fashion of people walking around cities. The researchers were able to identify which trends successfully jumped from runway to street, and which never made it. Read more about fashion research.
The Key to (Happily) Living Forever
World famous futurist Ray kurzweil is excited about virtual reality and living forever. At the “Exponential Medicine Conference,” he said nanobot technology can be used to bolster the natural human immune system, enabling us to beat diseases including cancer. We could essentially become immortal. However, Kurzweil says that in order to avoid becoming a “sorrowful immortal,” bored with everything our hands can touch, we’ll need virtual reality to stay stimulated. By 2030 Kurzweil posits that virtual reality could plug straight into a human nervous system, radically expanding the potential experience we could have. This, he says, is the key to an enjoyable immortality. Watch the conference to hear more!
The applications of machine vision technologies are vast and undeniably exciting. However, creating machine vision applications requires huge datasets, thousands of images, and a lot of processing. The precise processes needed in the creation of the many algorithms used to teach computers to “see” vary, but all need accurate, rapid, and large training datasets. This is where iMerit comes in to help machines think and work smarter. iMerit has skilled and trained employees experienced in working on creating datasets for machine learning and machine vision.
Contact us if you want to learn more!