Birth of the Network Camera
Michael D. Wheeler, Associate News Editor
As the demands on machine vision continue to increase, the last year has seen two distinct phenomena: The rise of the so-called "smart camera" and the push to develop networked camera systems. These two megatrends in industrial vision are the result of a unique interplay of factors - both economical and technological. Manufacturers are demanding more and more speed; image preprocessing and frame storage, yet have grown leery of the hefty price tags associated with these systems.
As cameras come equipped to perform more processing they are slowly pushing aside the traditional machine vision system paradigm consisting of a host PC, separate frame grabber and 'dumb' camera. An inexpensive price and the ability to network multiple cameras are just some of the intelligent camera's draws. Yet, smart cameras may not be a suitable answer for all applications, especially where low speed, simple processing is required.