The biyearly Vision Show in Stuttgart, Germany, is THE top vision event, literally everyone in the industry meets here and talks to peers, customers and rivals. FRAMOS gives an overview of the latest product news from the show along with highlights of interviews from company CEOs, product experts, partners and suppliers.
FRAMOS’ CEO Dr. Andreas Franz highlights the importance of the Vision Show Stuttgart for the industry in general and why it was so important to him this year:
“The Vision show is the most important event in our industry for several reasons. On the one hand, every two years, we have the possibility to meet with all customers, suppliers, competitors, ex-colleagues and those who have become near and dear to us, even those who have retired. This is the only place where everyone comes from all over the world for a common interest. Secondly, this show was so key for FRAMOS this year as we have completely restructured the company and split it into two new ones operating independently: the main FRAMOS division is now focused on Embedded Vision; while the new FRAMOS AI division is providing Deep Learning solutions. This is the perfect venue to introduce our new strategy to the market and the feedback we have received thus far from our customers has been amazing. The recurring message we received is that we are now an equal partner and service provider for all those wanting to use Embedded Vision.”
FRAMOS Launched First Own Embedded Vision Product Line
At the Vision Show, FRAMOS launched their first Embedded Vision ecosystem to ease and accelerate development cycles. Chris Barrett, VP Engineering, highlights the benefits of the newly launched FRAMOS sensor modules and adapters:
“For Embedded Vision customers, the modular approach used in the ecosystem provides a quick way to integrate sensors with a development board and prototype a vision system fast. Once they have chosen the sensor and the lens, they can buy a simple kit to get their first images within the same day. The customer’s software engineers are able to start writing software for their application immediately while the hardware engineers can start working towards their final design with the trusted schematics of these components. Final hardware can be achieved in six to eight weeks, reducing the development cycle significantly, by as much as twelve weeks which could be the difference to making the product successful in the market.”
The FRAMOS sensor modules and adapters technology was showcased at the FRAMOS booth in numerous demo stations, literally every visitor was excited about the Lego styled approach to Embedded Vision development that was on display. Different processing platforms like NVIDIA Jetson or QUALCOMM’s DragonBoard were used to demonstrate its flexibility and available options. For customer building their own platforms, FRAMOS’ SLVS-EC Rx IP Core for Xilinx FPGA’s was presented to shorten development time by enabling clients to seamlessly upgrade to the new sensor technology and high performance solutions while reducing risk by using a ready-to-integrate logic block. Century Arks showed an embedded vision system using six camera modules designed for premium 360° Internet of Things (IoT) devices that incorporated the Sony IMX378 sensor and a focus controllable lens with image stabilization.
Image Sensors Are The Heart of Every Vision System
Sony’s new polarized sensor, the IMX250MRZ, features 4-way on-chip polarization technology and was one of the most important topics for the Japanese image sensor market leader this year. Practical demonstrations at both Sony Semiconductor’s and the FRAMOS’ booth unveiled the potential for more precise recognition in surface inspection, 3D measurements, cross-sector spectroscopy, and applications in medicine and transport. 4-way polarized light detection simplifies stress inspection, improves contrast and allows scratch and object recognition. Based on the FRAMOS Market Study, which its results were presented at the Vision show, 53% of vision users and 60% of vision manufacturers see sensors with on-chip polarizers as being important for their applications. At a second Sony booth, a new approach to vision technology was shown where sensor, depth and cloud technology merged into new application solutions made for autonomous navigation, industrial processes and security. The Sony Depthsense™ sensor, a Time of Flight solution (ToF) with, as Sony’s states, better performance and smaller size than any other ToF technology on the market and is flexible for long and short capturing of clear edges and distance measurements. The Sony Micro Edge Concept allows scalability, security and privacy for 3D solutions in IoT scenarios with on board-processing and high bandwidths. The scalable systems connect multiple devices to support applications in automation and robotics with Big Data services.
Michael De Luca, Product Marketing Manager at ON Semiconductor, says they offers multiple highlights to customers at the venue.
“We are announcing new CCD products, we work with large-resolution CMOS parts, we have Global Shutter parts, Rolling Shutter parts, we actually show a very broad portfolio here. If I had to pick one, the highlight would definitely be our XGS family, which now includes many additional Megapixel device versions. They all share a common footprint, enabling high resolution in small-format cameras with a very good optical performance and low power combined with family scalability.” DeLuca says: “As an image sensor supplier, one of our primary customers here are camera manufacturers. For us, this event is a showcase for the manufacturers in this industry; we meet with, talk to and strategize with these companies to understand their needs and collaborate better. We talk to our distributors who are very important to our success in terms of being able to serve this market given our broad portfolio of devices with the knowledge to advice customers with the right solutions”.
Precise 3D Enables Human Machine Interaction
Intel provided two demo stations at the FRAMOS booth, showcasing its 3D cameras and modules using their Intel® RealSense™ technology. Real-time 3D body tracking is especially helpful for AR/VR and gaming applications and can also benefit both industrial and consumer UAV’s and robots. The skeletal tracking demo shown there uses the depth data stream of the cameras and the NuiTrack software, was able to detect human shapes, fit them to a skeletal model and report joint positions in 3D. The system worked for multiple bodies in the viewing area and highlighted their skeletal geometries. The second demo station was focused on 3D gesture recognition for human machine interaction. The living room lamp looking device was unassuming at the first glance but perfectly demonstrated how a reasonable-priced Intel® RealSense™ camera could be used to create interactive solutions easily. The lamp system used the depth and RGB data to detect gestures and objects, while seamlessly providing visual feedback and entertainment. The visitors had a lot of fun playing around with the intelligent lamp which kept Intel’s Miro Mlejnek pretty busy explaining the infinite possibilities available for creating interactive 3D-based applications for industrial and consumer scenarios.
ISVI have introduced their newest 3D camera model, the S3. Based on over a decade of experience, the camera is made for precise industrial inspection and measurements, delivering accuracy of down to 3µm and less. ISVI’s Vice President Gerard White expressed serious excitement about the visitors’ feedback:
“There are numerous 3D cameras exhibited at the Vision show, but only two or three provide the same good accuracy – but they are much more expensive than our S3 model”, he states. The ISVI 3D solution targets highly-precise inspection in the semiconductor market, as well as part measurement and inspection in production automation or offline applications. Sharing the booth with their distributor FRAMOS, for White there is no question if they should be present at the Vision show. “The machine vision market is such visual one, only a company showing its products here will be noticed and known.”
Targeting Machine Vision, the new ISVI Razor cameras series was introduced to the market and provides 50 Megapixel at exceptional speed. The product line is a Silver winner of the prestigious Vision Systems and Design Magazine’s Innovators Award.
Speed is Always “en Vogue”
John Ilett, Founder and CEO of Emergent Vision Technologies (EVT) was very satisfied with the Vision Show 2018 as well:
“Presenting all our new technology here is vital for EVT. The industry is hooked on speed and especially given that real-time applications cannot accept any latencies.” Emergent had recently launched its new series of 25GigE cameras, offering a new and proven GigE speed standard for the industry. The cameras are available as line scan, attractive for machine vision, and area scan versions supporting applications in Virtual Reality, sports and entertainment. EVT’s BOLT series offers the latest 2nd and 3rd generation Sony CMOS Pregius sensors from 0.5 to 30 Megapixels, with cables lengths up to 10km and low CPU utilization. “Customers certainly take advantage of the exceptional quality of Sony’s next-gen sensors, giving them the resolution they need while providing the high frame rates”, Ilett summarized the benefits. Emergent has been awarded with two Vision Systems Design Innovators Awards, reaching Gold for their ACCEL line scan series and Platinum for their BOLT area scan series.
Custom-sensor specialist Pyxalis showcased a broad range of custom and semi-custom solutions to create individual sensors for specific requirements and most demanding applications. With their extended sensor expertise and their high-quality devices, they also want people to know that they also address a broader market and offer the opportunity to access existing sensors.
“Most of the attention at the show was centered around our small-format “Robin” sensor, a true CDS Global Shutter HDR CMOS imager, with MIPI interface, ASIL support and other safety features for HDR machine vision, automotive applications but also advanced security market and ITS”, says Benoit Dupont, Pyxalis’ Business Development Manager. “Pyxalis is very happy about the attention this sensor has achieved in the industry. The sensor provides a 3.2µm pixel pitch in 1.6 and 2.3MP versions and artifact free in-pixel HDR with minimal readout noise and up to 98db dynamic range. It provides up to 75fps at full resolution and operates in a temperature range from -40°C to +125°C, which makes it a perfect candidate for automotive, industrial and outdoor applications in general.”
Embedded Vision is Not Just a Trend
The FRAMOS 2018 Market Study, presented at the Industrial Vision Days stage, summarized this year’s main trends in the vision industry. Users and manufacturers provided in-depth insights into the main applications, price levels, favorite brands and technical drivers that are shaping the markets today. There is no doubt: The industry is changing towards embedded vision. Machines and devices that can see will be the new normal. For industrial and consumer mass-markets, vision systems need easy development cycles, powerful hardware and AI/Deep Learning driven software. Mostly, a modular approach brings the desired standardization and scalability. This, combined with the technological progress and miniaturization, boosts further growth in embedded vision.
The Vision team at the Messe Stuttgart, led by Florian Niethammer, can be very proud of this year’s event. They have achieved record results in terms of visitors and have proven again that the VISION Show is the world’s leading trade fair in the sector. Listening to all the voices, for these three days, the Vision Show in Stuttgart was the pulse of the industry and provided a perfect opportunity to bring companies, customers and engineers in a leading position for 2019 and beyond.