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Some of us were concerned about the effect that the current bleak economy would have on VISION in Stuttgart. Not to worry. More exhibitors than last year had plenty of new products to show the visitors—again, more than in 2007—who roamed the two large halls at Messe Stuttgart.
You can see many of those products in this issue of Advanced Imaging, our annual New Product Showcase edition. Organized by core technology categories—illumination, cameras, software, processing, optics, display and data path—the issue shows you much of what's new and inventive in vision. And if that doesn't satisfy your appetite for products, visit our web site, www.AdvancedImagingPro.com, for thousands more.
One of the highlights of our annual pilgrimage to Stuttgart is the presentation of the Vision Award on the first day. This year, the 16th annual award was presented to Supercomputing Systems (Zurich, Switzerland) for its LeanXcam, an intelligent camera that comprises a CMOS sensor and a complete computer, including a 500 MHz digital signal processor (DSP), global shutter and a uClinux operating system.
The real innovation, says the company's Reto Bättig, is not the technology, but the fact that it facilitates the use of machine vision in cost-sensitive applications, particularly for machines and equipment that are produced in average unit numbers of a few hundred to a few thousand per year and face strong price pressures.
"Due to the innovation, the price per system can be reduced substantially compared with currently known solutions," he said. SCS is convinced that machine vision systems will be used in the majority of machines, laboratory apparatus and measuring equipment in the not-so-distant future. Those, he added, are the niches this camera can fill.