The smartphone market is very fast paced with rapid technological progress and innovations that set the bar for other markets. This is especially true for imaging and video, with smartphone-driven advancements in video stabilization spilling over into drones, bodycams and security cameras. If you are in one of these industries, you need to be prepared to seize the opportunities around the corner and make sure video stabilization solutions are tailored to your specific needs.
Packing large camera power into small phones
First a single camera lens was added to mobile phones to create the camera phone. These cameras were generally weaker than system cameras because you couldn’t fit as big a lens in. However, as technology and processing power progressed, we entered the era of computational photography. This enabled small smartphone cameras to hold their own against large system cameras in quality by packing much stronger processors, multiple lenses and several sensors all into one small device.
For instance, you could combine a wide-angle lens with a zoom lens and use special algorithms to seamlessly switch between them. Further advances in processing power, sensor fusion and are continuing to drive the multi-lens camera system trend.
Half of all smartphones sold globally will have three or more rear cameras by the end of 2021 – Counterpoint forecast
Edge AI is driving even more powerful processors
With an estimate of 5.8 billion IoT endpoints in use by the end of 2020 constantly generating enormous amounts of data, it is increasingly difficult to identify and analyze the data that has business value. This is where machine learning algorithms come in handy. AI capabilities are increasingly being advanced in the cloud and cloud computing capacity is expanding rapidly.
However, it is not always efficient to send so much data back and forth to the cloud from devices. This has led to the emergence of edge AI with greater processing power and AI capabilities built into camera chips.
Over 750 million edge AI chips will be sold in 2020, which is more than double the projected figure for 2017 – forecast by Deloitte
The AI era is opening up new applications
The combination of greater processing power and AI capabilities is supercharging multi-lens camera systems by allowing them to work in sync, far surpassing single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras. Various sensors such as depth and 3D sensors can now be used to create artificial bokeh effects, unlock more accurate facial recognition and create the conditions for better video.
The 3D imaging and sensing capabilities of the latest sensor technology will open the door to a wide range of new virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications in the enterprise market. For instance, in retail, this technology is being used to let buyers see how clothes would fit on them or how furniture would look in their home. In field service, VR goggles enable technicians to see whatever instructions they need without having to carry around several heavy manuals.
What this means for the future of video stabilization
The increase in processing power, lens fusion and sensor capabilities present both new opportunities and challenges for video stabilization. While there are more factors and parameters that must be considered to achieve optimum video stabilization, there is also greater scope for customization.
The generic camera modules with outstanding processing power and machine vision calculating capacity that will increasingly dominate are ripe for customization by adding software and calibrating and fine tuning to specific applications. For example, drone companies will team up with video enhancement software partners to innovate by creating camera platforms better at inspecting powerlines than ever before. This requires looking beyond hardware and video stabilization per se to complete video enhancement tailored to your use case.
Are you interested in learning more about how to prepare for the video stabilization opportunities of tomorrow? Do you wonder how you can tailor your video feed to a specific use case? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and discuss your challenges with ourvideo quality experts.For inspiration, insights and best practices for the next generation of video enhancement, enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter.