At the dawn of a new decade, mobile devices already dominate our personal and professional lives. During the 2020s, computer vision (CV) will come more into focus.
In this decade, millions of connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices around the world will soon use machine-learning models. At alwaysAI, we are building a deep-learning CV platform for embedded devices like cameras, drones, wearables, robots and transportation units.
It’s pretty clear that computer vision is going to become a critical part of almost all consumer and enterprise applications going forward.
I started alwaysAI to help enterprise and software developers enter the artificial intelligence (AI) space. We provide these developers an easy-to-use platform to quickly build and deploy deep learning computer vision applications onto edge devices.
We also give “intelligent sight” to these edge devices and enable them to make autonomous and smart decisions in real-time.
We’re not a hardware company. We’re not a services company. We’re a software company dedicated to making computer vision accessible, easy and affordable.
Computer Vision Is a Game-Changer
Computer vision has transformed several business sectors, including manufacturing, retail, and even urban planning. Yet, I believe CV’s potential goes beyond specific industries and applications.
Manufacturing lines, brick-and-mortar retail stores, and office buildings have already installed smart security cameras to keep track of what’s happening in their spaces.
Almost every industry leverages computer vision technology or cybersecurity. Almost every industry needs to be more secure and would benefit from deploying computer vision across its value chain somehow.
Early adopters like manufacturing companies jumped on computer vision right away to monitor their assets for problems — taking action in real-time to preserve their value.
Computer vision, however, goes beyond security and theft-deterrent. It also allows retailers to speed up business operations like shelf management, payments, and data compliance. The retail space could also use CV to track data about their customers’ shopping behaviors and spending habits.
The future of urban development is the “smart city,” — urban areas tapped into technologies like sensors, networks data, and IoT.
More and more governments aim to transform their cities into “smart” cities. To make this shift, they use computer vision to understand their population, the usage of their city, what’s happening in their city, and how to serve their citizens better.
Promising Innovations in Computer Vision
We have now reached the point with machine learning to release the magic of computer vision from our devices into the world to fuel innovation in every sector of business.
For example, the use of drones in the maritime industry. We currently work with a maritime drone manufacturer using industrial-grade drones to maintain safety alongside shorelines and waterways. By using AI, the drones identify obstacles and take action to eliminate them.
In a different vein, the wearable technology industry continues innovating for the every-day consumer, with one of the most recent being smart glasses. These glasses are poised for CV, as they can tell people what’s in front of them and what’s happening around them. Sight-disadvantaged people could take advantage of this new technology to “see” better.
We think these early implementations of computer vision are cool and will only get better as the technology improves.
Looking ahead at the needs of society in the future, one in six people will be over the age of 65 by 2050. Robots powered by AI will have the ability to take care of the world’s growing aging population. A camera — or even a mobile robot — could play a huge role in elder care. Technology can detect a person in distress when a caretaker isn’t present to assist and trigger an intelligent notification that alerts a human to come to the aid of the individual.
This is only one of many examples of how computer vision and robots will help people.
The Future of CV is Bright
Computer vision is an exciting technology with an undeniable future. Some technologies — like IoT and big data — have been around for a while, but they’re only now starting to converge.
The concept of machine learning has existed since the 1950s, helping machines to think and act like humans. But the innovation of deep learning has allowed people to start predicting behaviors with more power and precision.
Until now, we haven’t had the capability to make sensors and cameras intelligent and work for us. With machine learning and deep learning, in particular, we’re finally at that point.