How do you think the new GigE standards will influence the machine vision industry?
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Advanced Imaging: If I infer that digital suggests a more integrated user interface and control system, what new fields or opportunities does this present to your company ? pathology, education, biomedical?
Stephen Ross, Nikon: Nikon's alliance with Bacus Laboratories has enabled the creation of ?virtual slide? system. An image is scanned and stored on the server. Through Bacus' WebSlide Software, the mouse controls viewing. Users can zero in on key areas and even annotate the findings and keep them available as files. The advent of Nikon's virtual slide technology enables scientists to build a library of images. For teaching purposes, all students can be looking at the same slide and can access it 24/7. There is no longer an environment where the entire classroom is looking at variations of cross sections which can easily differ at each cut. The added benefit is the teacher can concentrate on the science without being interrupted stopped to help readjust stages or focusing or any other distraction.
Robert Wick, Leica: The integration of user interface and controls enables outstanding ease of use and productivity in research and routine environments of microscopy. Digital control offers unimagined opportunities for archiving, transfer and sharing of image information in pathology, education (instructional teaching) or in research. Leica is already utilizing this new techique in the digital microscopes to simplfy microscopy (Simply Microscopy!), to recall image acquisition conditions being stored with any image acquired.
Advanced Imaging: In biomedical research, the emphasis is now on functional biology and trying to characterize and understand the proteome. What, basically, is your company's approach for using florescence to image living cells ? and what role IR (infrared) imaging will play in future developments?
Stephen Ross, Nikon: Nikon's approach is to provide turnkey systems for high-level research imaging. The core of these systems must be the best optical technology available today, taking into account such things as broad color correction, high numerical apertures and the elimination of aberrations to the highest level possible. For example, in fluorescence imaging, it is often necessary to use a variety of dyes with many colors. This was one reason for introducing the new Plan APO VC lenses which correct for chromatic aberration from the violet to the far red. Currently dyes that are using excitation or emission in the infrared have not proven to be extremely useful. The major obstacle is that optics have not been developed with an emphasis to allow visualization of IR in the same plane as visible light.