How do you think the new GigE standards will influence the machine vision industry?
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By Leonard A. Hindus
Many camera and hardware vendors offer software development kits (SDKs), which are specific to that particular camera or board. They help developers design acquisition and control interfaces for that vendor's board, camera or system.
For example, Matrox Imaging (Dorval Quebec, Can.) is a leading supplier of frame grabbers and imaging processing boards. It offers the Matrox Imaging Library (MIL), a high-level programming library for image capture image processing, pattern recognition, blob analysis, edge extraction and analysis, measurement, character recognition, 1D and 2D code reading, calibration, graphics, image compression, image display and archiving. However, MIL only works with Matrox boards.
The Ladybug SDK helps developers develop applications for the Ladybug®2 Spherical Vision system from Point Grey Research Inc. (Vancouver, BC, Can.). The ladybug system incorporates six cameras in a single housing. This enables the system to collect video from more than 75 percent of the full sphere.
"OEMs are using the Ladybug in high-end security, geospatial information and entertainment applications," said Jerry Fife, Point Gray's North American business development manager. "As a general rule, people don't use this product out of the box for end-user applications. So we provide the Ladybug SDK to help OEMs develop applications for the Ladybug. The Ladybug SDK provides OEMs with basic acquisition and control functions and image processing functions which are unique to this device. The SDK includes a camera device driver, full software library and application programming interface (API), and example programs and source code for a quick start in the C/C++ programming environment."
Fife added that there are programs in the SDK to provide high quality spherical image stitching, so the images from the six cameras can be combined into a single wide-angle picture or movie. Other tools in the SDK apply correction to reduce the effect of lens vignetting (the darkening of the corners of an image relative to its center, which is an expected effect with many lenses).