The Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology unveils miniature vision sensor system

SAN FRANCISCO and NEUCHATEL, Switzerland, 10 October 2006. The Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), an electronics R&D center, launched a miniature vision sensor system that enables broad-based monitoring and interpretation of visual data in real time, in any light conditions. The system, called ViSe, allows original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to develop application-specific image analysis and response systems aimed at security and industrial markets.

SAN FRANCISCO and NEUCHATEL, Switzerland, 10 October 2006. The Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), an electronics R&D center, launched a miniature vision sensor system that enables broad-based monitoring and interpretation of visual data in real time, in any light conditions. The system, called ViSe, allows original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to develop application-specific image analysis and response systems aimed at security and industrial markets.

The ability to rapidly process data in real time and at low cost -- regardless of changing light conditions -- gives the system broad applicability for markets where vision sensing was previously not an option.

The ViSe camera is composed of a vision sensor and a digital signal processing chip (DSP) that can run identification algorithms. The system speeds throughput of visual data by enabling the vision sensor chip itself to extract key image features needed for interpretation -- prior to sending it for software processing on the DSP.

The ViSe sensor chip captures a detailed image but extracts from the image contrast strength and orientations, permitting it to pass on to the DSP only the key features of the scene needed for analysis. This allows a drastic reduction in the amount of data transmitted off the sensor chip, enabling rapid and low-cost post-processing of imagery in real time.

Whereas other vision sensing systems can be susceptible to rapidly changing light conditions –- for example, when a car emerges from a tunnel into glaring light –- the ViSe contrast extraction approach eliminates sensitivity to this light environment change, ensuring greater safety and security.

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