Computer Vision - The Next Frontier of Innovation
Imagine walking to an ATM kiosk pressing a button and getting your cash (Forget Cashless world for a moment), no cards, no pins, nothing it's just "YOU" that matter without the need of any surrogate that you must carry. Yes, sounds futuristic, but I believe we are at its doorstep. This and many more magic are possible with the advancement computing leveraging computer vision and breaking the barrier of traditional computer input mechanism that have been serving as their senses to react to its users needs till date.
Computing has evolved from its Stone Age era of reliance on punch cards for its input, to keyboards, mouse, touch and to recent innovations of voice enabled inputs such as Siri and Cortana. Computers are fundamentally designed to understand binaries, various input mechanism that's are being used are approaches that's more convenient for we humans and at the same time has the feasibility to be translated to binaries. For major part of computing history, text based input served as the best deal, with this approach there is always an explicit step to translate the Subject, its desire, its credential and privileges to alphanumeric representation that computers can work on, hence you have this cards or usernames that identifies the subject and pins or passwords that Authenticates the subject. The input mechanism is just a means to translate the user's desire to the binary format that computers can understand. With Computer Vision this whole model changes the actual subjects are translated to binaries that machines can understand and act upon. Chui a doorbell with facial recognition capabilities is one such application of this smart technology that is changing how we interact with machines and realize its value. The engagement with machines are becoming more direct and implicit.
Computer Vision is convergence of Image Processing, Artificial Intelligence (Machine learning to be specific) and Big data which enable machines to perceive things just like how we humans do, in turn making machine one step closer to replicate human senses to process its surroundings. Technology today is quite matured in applying Computer Vision to specific domain like facial recognition or reading vehicle license plate, but it's challenging to apply it more generically in fields like self-driving car where there are too many variations that needs to be processed to present the optimal outcomes, additionally the field of self-driving cars has too many legal, compliance and ethical issues beyond technology that's needs to be addressed before they become mainstream consumer technologies. Until then its prime time for Computer Vision to change how we interact and extend the boundaries of computers.
In an era of smartphone where every phone is equipped with camera, its coincidentally ready for the game of computer vision. Computer Vision in collaboration with Augmented reality has immense potential, where computing can enrich our physical world with immense data that's available for us, but instead of we explicating searching this information, computer vision would help us overlay this important information that matter us the most in real-time, taking the whole experience to a new level, one where we are presented with valuable information rather than requesting it. This would be a typical example of technology enriching our senses as we develop senses for our technology. There are many apps that allows you to focus your camera on your surrounding and get your valuable information based on geolocation and subject in focus. Hyundai's Augmented Reality owner manual is another excellent example of this technology being applied innovatively.
With the capability, there and maturing, there is immense possibilities that's conceivable with Computer Vision. Financial Investors are using satellite imaginary to get real time inputs to economic metrics like traffic at ports, oil reserves and crop yields. The same method can be used in health care to check trends in flu and other seasonal diseases by analyzing parked cars at Hospital and Urgent Care centers. With eyes in sky, property and casualty insurers can have a better insight to their potential liabilities in certain areas by observing traffic and accidents in areas they cover. These are just the patterns that can be extended to different business areas to gain massively from Computer Vision. With today's world, all about images shot at megapixel there are trove of information waiting to be harvested, and time is ripe for innovative use cases that could be leveraged using Computer Vision.
All technologies comes with its own concerns, with Computer Vision where any visual is more than an image, there are huge concerns of privacy as simple camera has the capability of going behind its realm to provide and extract information that otherwise would only be possible through human intervention. All said its a beginning of a new Technological journey that has the potential to make our childhood days science fiction into reality. Computer Vision is well positioned to lead the revolution until we dawn into next penultimate era of computer telepathy where our thoughts are translated to binary to serve as computer commands J.