Monday, March 23, 2009

Software selection: hardware flexibility

Can you predict what cameras you’ll want to use over the next few years?

If you answered “yes,” I don’t believe you. You might think monochrome VGA is all you’ll ever want but there could be a high-resolution color application lurking just around the corner. Or a line scan project. Or a color line scan project.

You might start out by restricting yourself to FireWire cameras, but then find that line scan job needs a CameraLink interface. Or you want to work with GigE.

It’s hard to predict the future, so make sure that your machine vision package doesn’t restrict your options down the road. You really want the freedom to work with any framegrabber and any camera, from any vendor.

Okay, so that’s nirvana, but here’s my point: understand how the software may restrict your flexibility. Aim to make an informed decision; don’t be the guy who has to ask his boss for money for a different package.

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