In fact, the fourth industrial revolution – which is now upon us – is expected to have a much wider effect on society than the previous revolutions. It goes beyond the areas that have been traditionally thought of as “industrial” to bring us concepts like smart homes, smart cities and more.

What’s the latest that machine vision can do?

As an integral component of systems that can automatically visualize, control and make decisions about all aspects of production, machine vision has a lot to offer. Currently, the technology is seeing major advances in image sensors, autofocus capabilities and lighting configurations that can flexibly change illumination direction and color to accommodate various product characteristics.

Some vision systems on the market today include a multi-core CPU that facilitates extremely fastest image processing and high-speed image data compression that makes it possible to store large amounts of traceability data without slowing down production. In addition, today’s cameras tend to employ Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) for programming, which makes it easier for companies to invest in the technology while keeping engineering time to a minimum.

Let’s take a look at a few ways in which the awe-inspiring power of today’s machine vision technologies are able to help move society in a positive direction.

Helping to ensure a future of safe transportation

Automobiles are getting more complex, and it’s essential that manufacturers maintain their commitment to the strict quality requirements that ensure the safety of everyone on the road. As it turns out, machine vision has the potential not just to help keep the current degree of quality control, but to actually take it to a much higher level.

Smart cameras and multi-camera vision systems leverage increasingly powerful image processing algorithms to detect the tiniest of defects that even a human inspector might not catch. Dents, scratches and miniscule variations in color all signal an alert during inspections, dramatically reducing the number of faulty vehicles making it to market.

Saving lives through quick and accurate diagnostics

Machine vision performs many of the necessary functions for automating clinical laboratory diagnostic tests, including detecting cap color, capturing patient data from the attached barcode, and verifying that specimen tubes are sufficiently full. The automation of routine medical testing is essential for improving patient care, shortening emergency room times and bolstering patient and clinician satisfaction.

With its broad scope of involvement in anything related to quality inspections and data capture, machine vision has the capability to significantly improve safety in transportation, medicine and many other industries. Living during the fourth industrial revolution, we can expect to see a major reduction in preventable accidents wherever machine vision has been incorporated.

Originally appeared on Smart Industry Forum on September 11, 2019. Click here to view.