Embedded Vision Insights: February 16, 2012 Edition

Eva

Dear Colleague,

Shortly after declaring bankruptcy on January 19th, longstanding photography pioneer Eastman Kodak announced last week that it was winding down its digital imaging product line this year, focusing going forward on patent licenses, printers, enterprise services, photo labs and (ironically) disposable silver halide film-based cameras. Yet, as anyone who uses online services such as Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Picasa and YouTube already knows, still and video photography is more popular than ever. So what happened? To some degree, Kodak's digital debacle, in spite of debuting the technology nearly 40 years ago, was the result of unwillingness to turn its back on its silver halide heritage and fully embrace the digital future.

But Kodak's not the only company having problems; traditional competitors such as Canon and Sony are also struggling. That's because standalone cameras have largely fallen out of favor in recent years, with the increasingly capable imaging subsystems integrated within cellphones, tablet computers and other multi-function devices as the heirs apparent and ascendant. This evolutionary transition is good news for embedded vision developers. As I've written about on numerous occasions in recent months, cellphones and tablets are open systems that represent fruitful development ground for independent developers. Whether the application involves health care, security, automotive driver assistance, a gesture-augmented user interface or any of the countless other implementations that have emerged, they wouldn't have been possible in the comparatively closed-system camera past.

In other news, as I first mentioned in an Embedded Vision Insights newsletter edition published shortly after the December 2011 Embedded Vision Alliance Summit, EVA member Texas Instruments (TI) has upgraded its membership to the premier Platinum tier. According to Niels Anderskouv, vice president, Digital Signal Processing Systems at TI, "Embedded vision and vision analytics are becoming pervasive in many applications, including video security, machine vision, automotive safety or even your refrigerator at home. Texas Instruments’ digital signal processing products provide the real-time precision and high performance that’s at the core of many of these innovative applications. TI is proud to now be a platinum member of the Embedded Vision Alliance and anticipate that our role will help the Alliance further spur exciting innovation in the industry." As of earlier this week, TI's Platinum Portal on the Embedded Vision Alliance website is live and ready for your perusal. I encourage you to check it out, learn more about the company and its embedded vision involvement, and periodically revisit the Portal as TI (and I) add more material.

Finally, speaking of Embedded Vision Alliance Summits, the next one will be held on Thursday, March 29, in San Jose, CA. Alliance member representatives should have already received preliminary email communication about the event; please confirm your planned attendance as soon as possible and look for a detailed agenda to come shortly. The Summit will be held coincident with and close by the Design West Conference series, which includes the Embedded Systems Conference Silicon Valley. We'll be inviting key members of the technology analyst and press community to join us beginning mid-day for a compelling series of embedded vision presentations, panel discussions, and product introductions, not to mention a cocktail reception. If you're an analyst or journalist who'll be in Silicon Valley that week and hasn't yet heard from us, I apologize; please drop us an email and we'll be sure to add you to the attendance list. And for the rest of you, stay tuned for more information on the earlier-mentioned product introductions, representing compelling embedded vision breakthroughs from several Alliance member companies.

As always, I encourage you to contact me with your ideas about making the Alliance, this newsletter and the website better. Thanks for your interest and involvement in the field of embedded vision, and for your support of the Embedded Vision Alliance.

Brian Dipert
Editor-In-Chief, Embedded Vision Alliance

FEATURED VIDEOS

A Conversation with Jeremiah Golston
Brian Dipert interviews Jeremiah Golston, Texas Instruments Fellow and Chief Architect of the company's DaVinci product line. They discuss Jeremiah's background in video and embedded vision, how the company's product line has evolved over the years in response to the needs of various imaging applications, and how it meets (and will further evolve to meet) the needs of various embedded vision applications both now and in the future.

eyeSight Gesture Interface Demonstrations at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show
eyeSight Mobile Technologies' CTO Itay Katz demonstrates the company's gesture interface technologies to Embedded Vision Alliance Founder Jeff Bier at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. The demonstrations took place at CEVA's suite at CES. For more information, see Brian Dipert's writeup.

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FEATURED ARTICLES

The Benefits of an Industry Alliance: How You Can Utilize the Potential of Embedded Vision Technology
Embedded vision technology has the potential to enable electronic products to be more intelligent and responsive, so that they are more valuable to users. It can enable electronic equipment companies to both create valuable new products and add helpful features to existing products. And it can provide significant new markets for hardware, semiconductor and software manufacturers. A unified worldwide alliance of suppliers, system developers and end customers will help transform this potential into reality in a more rapid and efficient manner. More

Embedded Vision: FPGAs' Next Notable Technology Opportunity
A diversity of robust embedded vision processing options exist: microprocessors and embedded controllers, application-tailored SoCs, DSPs, graphics processors, ASICs and FPGAs. An FPGA is an intriguing silicon platform for realizing embedded vision, because it approximates the combination of the hardware attributes of an ASIC (high performance and low power consumption) with the flexibility and time-to-market advantages of the software algorithm alternative running on a CPU, GPU or DSP. BDTI and Xilinx partnered to co-develop a demonstration that exemplifies not only embedded vision's compelling promise but also the role that FPGAs might play in actualizing it. More

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FEATURED NEWS

Making Things See: New From O'Reilly

Kinect for Windows' "Close Mode": Firmware Seemingly Carries the Fully Load

Got Skin Cancer? Embedded Vision May Have the Answer

Image Compression: Continued Breakthrough Attention

Thermal Imaging: Slow Acquisition Speeds, But A Fiscal Bargain

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