Much of the investment being made in Internet of Things (IoT) applications is predicated on the notion that there will be sensors in place capable of capturing data. But the cost and complexity associated with distributing sensors everywhere is a logistical and economic challenge.
Altia Systems is working with Intel to develop an alternative approach using 4K camera systems. This week, Altia launched version 2.0 of the Intelligent Vision suite, the software used to drive PanaCast 2, a 4K camera capable of capturing 180-degree images. The latest version of the suite makes use of algorithms developed by Intel to accurately count people and capture all forms of relevant data.
Aurangzeb Khan, president and CEO of Altia Systems, says that the initial goal is to provide a camera system that could be used in collaboration applications and to secure environments by sending alerts when, for example, a person shows up on the camera in a place they shouldn’t be.
But Khan notes that the possibilities for PanaCast cameras infused with artificial intelligence (AI) as an alternative to sensors are numerous. Instead of trying to correlate data generated by hundreds of sensors, digital cameras are capable of capturing images that can be analyzed by Big Data analytics applications.
The PanaCast camera makes use of 4K images to provide a clearer picture than what can be accomplished using wide-angle lenses or fish-eye cameras, says Khan.
“Existing cameras create a lot of distortion,” says Khan.
Digital cameras are not going to replace sensors in every IoT use case. But they do open another avenue for capturing data in a way that more organizations can practically accomplish. Of course, there may be significant privacy and compliance issues to be navigated. But it’s pretty clear that cameras of all types infused with AI algorithms are quickly starting to emerge as a new kind of sensor.