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Car apps boost embedded vision market

Posted: 04 Apr 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:embedded vision? automotive application? gesture recognition?

According to the latest forecast from IMS Research, now part of IHS, automotive applications including lane-departure warning and self-parking will be among the major growth drivers this year for the embedded vision market. Revenue this year for special-purpose computer vision processors used in under-the-hood automotive applications is seen to reach $151 million, up from $137 million last year and from $126 million in 2011, added the market research firm.

Expansion will continue during the years ahead at rates ranging from 6-9 per cent, confirming the solid prospects in store for embedded vision, one of the fastest-growing trends in technology. By 2016, revenue, is expected to amount to $187 million, equivalent to a six-year CAGR of 8.2 per cent.

"Embedded vision can improve automotive safety and convenience features in a number of ways, playing a key role in applications like lane departure warnings, collision mitigation, self-parking and blind-spot notifications," said Tom Hackenberg, principal analyst for embedded processors at IHS. "The total available market for embedded vision in under-the-hood automotive applications is massive, with the potential for installation in 94.7 million light vehicles by 2016, up from 71.1 million in 2011."

In automotive vision systems, one of the established markets for embedded vision, the trend is shifting from multiple small markets for embedded solutions towards a growing market for integrated intelligence, and is also heading for new applications enabled with even greater intelligence. While an older applications model could be found to feature many processors and cameras possessing a variety of individual performance needs and solutions, an integrated vision system boasts of multi-core and high-performance processors, with fewer cameras but more complex and cohesive solutions.

Embedded vision is also used in a variety of industrial security applications, another powerful growth driver for the field.

In factory automation, for instance, applications for this established market can be found in smart vision sensors, machine vision cameras and compact vision systems. As many as 6.1 million units of machine vision hardware could be possible by 2016, up from 3.3 million units in 2011.

Two other established markets for embedded vision are in video content analysis systems, where network surveillance hardware could total 38.7 million units by 2016, up from 11.2 million in 2011; and in military aerospace, where processors in military-grade applications are forecast to reach 92 million units by 2016, up from 83.5 million in 2011.

Besides the established markets, embedded vision is also growing in the developing areas of gesture recognition, augmented reality and digital signage. Here the markets are considered to be less than mature but possess significant possibilities that can be realised in the short to medium term of three to six years.

In gesture recognition and augmented reality applications, for instance, embedded vision could be deployed in game systems, smartphones, cameras and camcorders. In digital signage, embedded vision could be utilised in commercial signage capable of targeted marketing based on video content analysis.

A third market segment for embedded vision lies in the emerging markets, where opportunities are projected to unfold over the longer term, likely from 7-10 years. The emerging markets include facial recognition, such as identification by automated teller machines for financial transactions; transportation, in the form of self-guided vehicles and intelligent infrastructure; and medical, covering patient monitoring and interaction based on vision.

As the technology for embedded vision continues to evolve, so will the market for new applications, IHS noted. The synergy between computer vision and embedded applications will keep advancing, in the process giving rise to new uses of embedded vision and entirely new vision applications.

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