Saturday, December 21, 2013

2013: A good year for machine vision

As 2013 dawned I commented, “What I would like to see is more emphasis on image quality from the camera-makers. I know I can buy a gazillion dollar scientific grade camera and get incredibly stable images, but what I want is a sub-$2k, 5Mp monochrome camera with effectively zero noise.”

Well my wish partly came true. Pixelink now offer a 5Mp camera for under $1,000, (the PL-E425CU-KIT) although as for zero noise – well I haven’t tested it, but I suspect there’s still a way to go on that front.

More generally though, 2013 saw continued growth in resolutions offered combined with lower prices. It also saw the USB 3.0 interface build momentum as the successor to Firewire. But as for those other new interfaces, CoaXpress and CameraLink HS, argue with me if you wish but while CoaXpress seems to get more column-inches neither is making much headway. Perhaps they’re just too specialized for mainstream machine vision.

The other big technology trend this year has been 3D. While you’d be right to point out that the tech isn’t new, this year we’ve seen a growing number of applications. The majority seem to use laser triangulation, although the single camera-pattern projection systems are also growing too.

From the business perspective, 2013 has been good. Full-year results won’t be available for some weeks, but Cognex and others were all pretty excited by their performance at the nine-month mark, so barring any catastrophes I think we can expect good full-year numbers.

The knock-on of course has been jobs. Machine vision employment opportunities abound, (even though I didn’t get the job I really wanted,) so if you’re ready for a change check out the listings on LinkedIn.

The one damp squib in ’13 seems to have been the AIA’s Certification scheme. I still think the idea is admirable but there doesn’t seem to be much weight behind it. I haven’t seen a single job ad that proclaimed “MVP Certification preferred”, unlike the much ballyhooed PMP accreditation. Perhaps it just needs time, but I’d really like to see the AIA do more to promote certification.

And what about 2014? Well that’s a great topic for another post. For now though I’m going to take some time off. Thanks for reading, enjoy the Holiday Season, and Best Wishes for the New Year.


Anonymous said...

Hm... you might want to take a look at Pointgrey Grasshopper3 with the new Sony IMX174!

Anonymous said...

I think the IMX174 is a pretty interesting product you might want to look at this.

Anonymous said...

I don't like Point Grey. PixeLINK cameras and support are one of the best on the market. Great Article!