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Embedded Vision Will be a Key Driver for Product Innovation

by Ian Weightman,

President, IMS Research,

May 23, 2011

Over the past 12 months it has become increasingly apparent that embedded vision and its associated analytics are going to be one of the most important technologies that will drive new product innovation over the next decade. Its potential was really brought into focus at IMS Research’s recent Intelligent Video Conference in Los Angeles, where senior executives from some of the most innovative companies in the world, including Intel, Microsoft, NEC, TI, Cisco and Continental, came together to discuss the ways in which embedded vision will change the landscape in many industries, as machines and devices become visually aware and able make decisions based upon what they see.

Intelligent video solutions have been actively deployed in the military and security sectors for some time, and IMS Research has been closely tracking the evolution of Video Content Analysis as its capabilities evolve to enable solutions in other markets. Work on these new applications has accelerated markedly and diversely in recent months, with solutions that include cars that are able to see road conditions and warning signs and react accordingly; consumer devices and game consoles that can be controlled by, and interact with, the user through gestures and facial expressions; medical scans that can be automatically compared to ones taken weeks or months prior, and digital displays that can show different content depending upon who is viewing it and how they react to what they see.

Looking further ahead, continuing improvements in facial and object recognition coupled with spatial awareness will lead to more advanced intelligence. Before the end of the decade, there is the very real possibility that many machines and robots will be able to see and interact with their environment, people and other visually intelligent devices.

The main reason that embedded vision has only recently become such an important factor in component and end-equipment manufacturers R&D plans is that the key elements of an intelligent video solution, including compute engines capable of processing HD digital video streams in real-time, high capacity solid state storage capabilities, and advanced video analytic algorithms, have finally evolved to the point where performance has increased and costs have fallen sufficiently to enable commercial products to be developed.

It is evident that embedded vision will grow into a multi-billion dollar industry, with the potential to exceed the revenues generated by other technology driven markets such as wireless connectivity. For this reason, IMS Research has increased its focus on intelligent video, and given that the company has over 110 analysts covering all key electronic markets worldwide, IMS will be able to track the impact that embedded vision has on each market where it is deployed. With many of the big players now entering the embedded vision arena, it is now not a question of if embedded vision will have a significant effect on the world around us and the way we interact with it, the only question now is how quickly will it happen.

In an effort to bring industries together to understand the opportunities and challenges that intelligent video will bring, IMS Research will be supporting the embedded vision alliance as its market research partner.