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TECHNOLOGY Machine vision


FLIR ITS SafeWalk pedestrian detector in Auckland, New Zealand


“I don’t know that I see a revolutionary difference on the horizon but that’s not to say there won’t be one – I think there’s a lot of promise for evolutionary differences”


the plate authenticable, but then to address your point more head on, if somebody makes a fake licence plate and it’s to all intents and purposes appearing as a licence plate, it’s fair to say that I’m going to read it as a licence plate.”


MORE FOR LESS So what’s the future? None of the people I spoke to thinks that we’ll see another sea-change as we did with analogue to digital, or traditional illumination to LEDs. They expect it to just be more for less money: “I don’t know that I see a revolutionary difference on the


horizon at this point in time. That’s not to say there won’t be one but I think there’s a lot of promise for evolutionary dif- ferences,” says Gardasoft’s John Merva. “And certainly with LEDs they continue to have tremendous appeal in residential and commercial markets and that continues to drive them. So the vision industry is able to, if you will, surf off that wave of technology created by these markets, much as it has done in the microprocessor and DSP markets. Because the vision market per se is not large enough to drive that development but they’re certainly able to take advantage of that develop- ment. So I think we’ll see more and more of that, both with respect to LEDs and with respect to the control systems as they become more compact, less expensive and more rich feature sets.” FLIR ITS’s Eddy Vermeulen says he can already see where


ITS is going, because it’ll follow trends in other markets: “If you look to the commercial world and to the security world you can use them as a mirror for what is going to happen in traffic and other businesses. It’s going for higher resolu- tion. Your television at home is becoming bigger, it’s getting


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more pixels, it’s becoming high definition and so on… that’s exactly what is going on in security at the moment and it will also be the trend, I’m sure, in the coming years in traffic. We will have cameras with a higher resolution, crisper images, probably better coverage of the same area or bigger areas. That will be the biggest move for sure.” But Enzio Schneider finishes with a word of caution – make


sure the technology you use is right for what you are using it for, because when you are offered a “better” product, you should make sure you first define what “better” actually means: “Is the camera getting better if the resolution is higher? Is


the camera getting better if the frame rate is increasing? Is the camera getting better if the image quality in noise within the picture is improving? In general I would say the camera in terms of price performance will get better over the next few years but this strongly depends on your personal application and the market you are personally active in because a better camera is not necessarily a better camera for all the different markets.”


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 Paul Hutton is associate editor of Thinking Highways and head of H3B Media’s Broadcast Services team


paul@h3bm.com jimk@inexzamir.com john.merva@gardasoft.com enzio.schneider@baslerweb.com eddy.vermeulen@flir.com


 To listen to the accompanying podcast, Seeing Things, visit www.thinkinghighways.com and click on PODCASTS


thinkinghighways.com Vol 8 No 2 Europe/Rest of the World |||||||||||||||||


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