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Cube Camera Eyes Embedded Vision

Cube Camera Eyes Embedded Vision

Shorter than a paper clip, the SmartVue is the smallest programmable smart camera module on record, according to its manufacturer, CogniVue. I, for one, believe them. Hammacher Schlemmer advertises the world's smallest camera, not smart or programmable, at the same size: a 1-inch cube, give or take a millimeter or two. So it's easy to believe that an imager that's a lot more powerful than this consumer camera, but occupies the same envelope, must be the world's smallest.

Why is this important? Because embedded vision is one of the biggest trends in machine vision today, although much of the industry doesn't know it yet. And embedded vision requires very small, very smart, very low-power programmable cameras.

Embedded vision already exists in nearly a billion units: They're called mobile phones. Their tiny embedded cameras are not alterable by the user, a typical definition of "embedded." But those are usually image sensors, not programmable image processors. SmartVue combines both, adds software, and voila!

Introduced at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, the SmartVue is a smart camera module demonstration and development platform. It's made possible by combining CogniVue's multi-core CV2201 Image Cognition Processor with OmniVision's OV7962 CMOS image sensor.

CogniVue's CV220X processor family competes with digital signal processors (DSPs), but they have a smaller footprint and power consumption. This is made possible by a low-power, massively parallel, image processing array architecture, along with imaging technology that's already been proven in mobile phones.

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