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Thermal Cameras Get an Artificial Intelligence Upgrade

19 April 2016

Low-power machine vision company Movidius has teamed up with thermal imaging company FLIR Systems, bringing Artificial Intelligence capabilities to Boson, FLIR's latest thermal-imaging camera core.

FLIR will now integrate the Myriad 2 Vision Processing Unit into its thermal core to create the most intelligent thermal imaging solution to date. The Myriad 2 vision processor is capable of advanced computer vision operations in the fields of deep learning, spatial computing and depth extraction.

The new technology collaboration will enable advanced image processing at low-power dissipation and bring artificial intelligence to thermal imaging products.

Thermal imaging and machine vision applied to pedestrian and vehicle counting to understand traffic flows. (Image Credit: FLIR/Movidius) Thermal imaging and machine vision applied to pedestrian and vehicle counting to understand traffic flows. (Image Credit: FLIR/Movidius)

The 12 programmable vision cores of Myriad 2 allowed FLIR to implement advanced image processing, super resolution, noise filtering and blending algorithms, while still leaving significant computer resources available on-chip for customers to implement additional image processing. This more intelligent core upgrades the thermal capabilities while also reducing its size, weight and power.

Myriad 2's small power, size and thermal footprints allow FLIR to embed this processor directly inside the Boson thermal core.

"The state-of-the-art in computer vision has come a tremendous way in the last few years," said Remi El-Ouazzane, Movidius's CEO. "FLIR has developed the first-ever integrated solution that now allows customers to take advantage of these new advancements while continuing to leverage FLIR's unique thermal-imaging technology and support ecosystem. FLIR will be instrumental in deploying advanced computer vision in applications, such as home security, personal vision systems, drones, law enforcement and defense."

The new system-on-a-chip interfaces and machine intelligence will enable FLIR cores to make better sense of the information being captured by their sensors.

Boson is small enough and light enough for designing cameras for drones, security, firefighting, thermal sights or handheld imagers.

Applications include handheld thermal-imaging systems for first responders and military, security and surveillance systems, unmanned aerial vehicle and robotic vision, and navigation.

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