Embedded vision is cool. A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get taken for a test drive in a car outfitted with a third generation automotive vision system and it was IMPRESSIVE with a capital, well, everything, obviously. This vision system had ‘Adaptive Cruise Control’ that would, in addition to letting you set a cruising speed, allow you to specify a distance to maintain from a vehicle in front of you. I figured this would be used for slight speed adjustments when on a highway so you wouldn’t have to keep setting/resetting the cruise control when, for example, you are making the boring drive along I-10 from Houston to San Antonio where there is constantly some chuckle-head who decides to pull in front of you in the left hand lane so they can go exactly 0.1 mph faster than the car in the right lane they are passing. I was very happy to find out that this system will not only handle that road-rage-inducing situation with ease, but that the adaptive cruise control will actually bring a car to a complete stop if necessary to maintain the proper distance. We actually drove through a small town complete with street lights and stop-n-go traffic and my driver never touched the brake or accelerator! The adaptive cruise control handled it all. Phenomenal.
While I can already envision the horrors of a world full of people txt’ing, tweeting and updating their facebook status believing that the adaptive cruise control will handle all the driving for them, I don’t want to lose sight of the coolness of the embedded vision system that will eventually bring us one step closer to the apocalypse. It’s just cool technology. “How cool” you ask? It’s so cool even my wife gets it and agrees it’s cool. And she doesn’t just think anything is cool.
Sure this type of embedded vision technology is a precursor to Skynet, but we should have some good years before that kicks in. In the meantime we can make the world safer with things like embedded vision systems for swimming pools that help save people who are drowning and face detection systems for obscenity prevention. Yes, these things do exist and are sadly needed. There are hundreds more applications embedded vision is enabling – most more mainstream than those two examples.
Where can you learn more about these and other cool embedded vision applications? Check out the Embedded Vision Alliance website. The EVA is a group formed to give embedded vision system designers and developers practical information about this fast growing area that will help them design embedded vision solutions. It’s an alliance that is meant to further the embedded vision industry as a whole and not promote any one company. Texas Instruments is a founding and platinum member of the alliance and we believe strongly in helping all developers innovate and grow this very cool industry.
The EVA website has a section called the Embedded Vision Academy that is a free online training facility that provides educational resources including training videos, interviews, demos and even downloadable code. So if you’re an embedded vision developer, or just someone like me who enjoys reading about some cool things coming our way, then check out the website.
What do you find cool about embedded vision?
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