Image credit: Immervision
The security and surveillance market is increasing steadily, in part propelled by health and safety concerns. The video surveillance camera market is expected to reach $44 billion by 2025—nearly double the market in 2019. Also driving that growth is the use of Internet of Things technologies, which is improving smart camera features and capabilities.
The latest smart cameras have expanded fields of vision and are integrated with sensors. Domed 360° surveillance cameras use a spherical or fisheye lens to capture a wider viewing area than that of a standard camera.
One potential problem with current generation cameras is the distortion that commonly occurs when using a fisheye lens. The distortion typically is seen at the edges of a fisheye image, where objects are smaller to capture a wider field of space. Fisheye lenses also display curved, rather than straight, lines.
Pixel Processing Reduces Distortion
Immervision is tackling these issues with its Panomorph Optical Design, specialized panomorph lenses with integrated pixel processing. A traditional wide-angle lens has about 6.5 pixels/degree at the edge of the lens, but Immervision’s wide-angle lens with pixel processing has double that at 13 pixels/degree at the edge. That allows objects at the edge of the image to look less distorted. Coupled with Immervision software, companies can customize the lenses, so the captured or viewed images best fit their needs.
The Immervision software allows operators to adjust images by manipulating the density of pixels in a given panomorph picture. Altering the pixel density on the X and Y curves changes the distortion common to fisheye lenses. Other characteristics, including Modulation Transfer Function, chromatic aberration, and relative illumination, also can be manipulated.
As users adjust the lens specifications, the software will indicate if the desired specs are beyond the manufacturing parameters. That enables users to know up front if the lens they desire can be fabricated, or if they need to adjust their parameters. Once the user determines the desired parameters, Immervision will manufacture the lens to those specifications.
In addition to its wide-angle optic technologies, Immervision’s camera solution includes sensor fusion and artificial intelligence-ready image processing capabilities. Sensor fusion enables contextual metadata to be embedded into the image data, allowing for better synchronization and advanced smart application use.
Image processing is enabled by integrated sensors and includes real-time image “dewarping,” or changing the pixel repartitioning, for human or computer vision. Tall buildings look curved in traditional wide-angle lenses, and dewarping allows users to adjust for that. They can manipulate image capture to focus on subject proportion (such as properly sizing vehicles) or to maintain an angle (such as showing a straight, unbowed street).
A Vision of the Future
Immervision offers the PanomorphEYE development kit, so integrators can create intelligent vision solutions and AI-based applications more easily. The company itself is developing humanoid robots with intelligent vision. The first, Joyce, is Immervision’s attempt to instill human-like perception into a robot.
In addition to providing Joyce with advanced optics, Immervision is working to integrate advanced AI-based computer vision technologies, so Joyce can classify images, recognize and track objects, and cognitively understand her environment. Immervision has partnered with Hanson Robotics, the creator of Sophia, a humanoid robot with social awareness, to advance the capabilities of Joyce. The ultimate goal—still a long way off—is to create robots with machine vision that can see, interact with, and improve the world.