5 Applications of Computer Vision

CV has the potential to transform industries and how they operate. Here are some of the most notable applications worth exploring.

5 Applications of Computer Vision
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New technologies are always under development, and various industries can use them to improve their operations in an increasingly competitive and digital world. Whether it’s leveraging 5G technology, the Internet of Things (IoT), or data analytics, many companies recognize the benefits new technologies have to offer.

One type of advanced technology, computer vision (CV), is becoming more ubiquitous across different sectors of the economy. A primary benefit of CV is that it can be applied in many ways — the possibilities are seemingly endless.


What Is Computer Vision?

CV is a field of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows machines to “see” the world around them. Devices integrated with computer vision can analyze visual information and make decisions based on it or understand their surrounding environment and situations. Deep learning and machine learning algorithms are both used to power CV.

The world generates tremendous amounts of data, causing CV to grow exponentially. Much of the information analyzed by CV is images and videos, but it also includes data from other sources, including infrared and thermal sensors. Because CV is a component of AI, the overall goal is to mimic human behavior as efficiently as possible.

CV is a revolutionary technology, as machines can replicate parts of the human vision system, which is complex in and of itself. In fact, CV surpassed people’s abilities to detect and label objects — today’s systems have reached 99% accuracy in reacting to visual inputs.

Simply put, CV is all about pattern recognition. Computers can be trained by feeding them thousands, if not millions, of images that have been labeled. Researchers then subject computers to various software techniques that allow them to hunt down patterns.

The computer analyzes colors, shapes, distances between objects, and various other elements until it profiles these images. In theory, once a computer is trained, it can use its experience when provided with different pictures to identify all types of objects.

CV has the potential to transform industries and how they operate. Here are some of the most notable applications worth exploring.


1. Machine Vision

Businesses have used machine vision in several ways, mostly to increase quality, efficiency, and operations. Various components work together to make machine vision systems work properly, such as sensors, cameras, and lighting. For example, popular lighting choices for machine vision systems include fluorescents, LEDs, quartz halogen, and metal halide (mercury).

Machine vision systems are often used for quality control purposes. For example, in farming, harvesting machines use it to detect where grapes are on a vine so the device can pick bunches of grapes without destroying them.


2. Transportation

CV plays a significant role in the automotive industry, as it’s being applied to intelligent transportation systems (ITS). Self-driving vehicles and pedestrian detection systems both rely on CV.

Cars can collect data regarding their surroundings using CV, interpret it, and respond accordingly. CV allows people to drive autonomous vehicles (AVs) and makes driving safer, more efficient, and reliable.


3. Manufacturing

Manufacturers have used CV since the 1950s, and as the technology has evolved, more use cases have emerged. Manufacturing companies can rely on CV to read text and barcodes on products, detect faulty products, and assist with product assembly.

When CV can help manufacturers remove faulty products, everyone in the supply chain benefits. Overall, CV has helped the manufacturing industry overcome some of its most common challenges, and the trend will likely continue.


4. Health Care

Health care uses CV to improve patient care and assist with surgeries. Some key benefits of using CV in a medical setting include:

  • Optimizing medical diagnoses
  • Preventing hemorrhaging in women giving birth
  • Allowing doctors to spend more time bedside with patients
  • Identifying major problems in CT scans faster than a human can

CV will likely be a staple in modern medicine, but there are some barriers to implementing it. It may take some time for health care providers to find viable solutions to these obstacles.


5. Construction

CV can assist construction companies and their employees with predictive maintenance, keeping equipment running properly, and reducing downtime during major construction projects.

CV can alert workers about equipment problems, allowing them to take proactive steps to fix them before it’s too late. Additionally, CV can provide PPE detection to ensure worker safety, something the industry works tirelessly to achieve.


Expect More CV Applications in the Future

CV is still evolving, and researchers and developers have some obstacles to overcome. They have already made great progress with the technology. It’ll be exciting to see how CV becomes more widely used and affordable for all types of companies.

Devin Partida is a big data and technology writer, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of ReHack.com