People born after the turn of the century have lived in a world where computer vision has been a part of their everyday lives. Computer vision impacts every aspect of our life whether it be a doctor’s visit, driving yourself to work, or using an Instagram filter on your smartphone. The pandemic and the rollout of 5G technology have been catalysts for the implementation of more computer vision technology, namely driverless cars and other IoT applications.
What is Computer Vision Technology?
It is an interdisciplinary field of artificial intelligence which deals with how computers analyze images and videos to assist humans and computers making decisions. Computer vision is used in the Medical and Engineering fields as well as everyday smartphone technology.
This technology since the turn of the century has helped transforms many industries. 30 years ago, if you were to become a photographer or video editor you would need to train and understand how the most up to date equipment and software worked. Now websites like Canva, Facebook and Instagram allow users to edit photos and videos that look professional with very little effort.
Applying Computer Vision to Objects
Autonomous vehicles have become the next goal for the automobile industry. For many European car brands, anticollision technology is standard in all cars. Additionally, lane departure warning systems are standard in BMW’s, Mercedes’, and Audi’s cars.
These same anti-collision and lane departure warning technologies are also implemented in Drones. Drones can follow objects as well as avoid objects that it may hit while in flight. An example of this is the DJI AGRAS T30 drone which can autonomously fertilize land and collect data about the growth of your crops to optize a farmer's yield.
This technology has also made our world safer. Thermographic cameras and lidar scanners are installed all around modern cities to monitor fires and critical infrastructure projects. Companies such as Sixense, who monitor some of the world’s biggest infrastructure projects, rely on sensors installed on bridges and tunnels to actively monitor sudden movements during construction work.
Applying Computer Vision in Documents
Computer vision has its application in data collection and interpretation. A lot has developed since the CTRL+F function. iManage, an American AI company, has created solutions helping law firms and companies managing risk, namely by analyzing and interpretating large amounts of data to assist human and computer decision making. The company’s AI solutions analyzes documents by interpreting the documents to fit a specific input which the user is looking for. This is ideal for lawyers as a significant amount of time is spent researching laws and case law.
Computer vision also is an integral application in many things that we take for granted as an online user. One such example is being able to copy text from pictures on google. Additionally, computer vision is used in google translate to be able to translate a text through a picture- something that can revolutionize how we travel and understand the human race as a whole when it was once thought of as impossible.
Applying Computer Vision for People
Around the world, the increase in population has also correlated in the increase in crime and use of computer vision for public security. After the 9/11 attacks, much of what consists of security in airports around the world has changed. computer vision is used to identify people flying and recognize the faces of those flying with particular documents. Those flying in the EU with an EU passport, or flying into one of London’s airports might have experienced using an eGate. An eGate allows those with electronic passports (mainly passport holders from North America and Europe) to scan their passports without going to a customs agent. Once the passport is scanned, then a camera uses facial recognition to match their passport picture with the picture it takes at the gate.
Computer vision is also used in many mobile applications such as fingerprint scanners or facial recognition software to unlock phones. Computer vision is also used for filters on social media platforms such as Instagram and snapchat. As Computer vision for people is continuously being implement, so too are personal privacy concerns in a world where privacy is not so private anymore.
As internet speeds become faster, Computer vision will have a greater role to analyze the world around us and transfer that information into the online world that we are increasingly relying on. Companies are increasingly implementing these solutions to give them a competitive edge.
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