The panomorph lens will imitate human eyesight and empower AI
ImmerVision is a one-of-a-kind company intent on persuading the security industry that its patented panomorph lens is far superior to the widely used fisheye lens. Founded in France in 2000, the company has a large and expanding ecosystem of tech partners, with many surveillance camera developers using its 360-degree panomorph technology. Louis Brun, director of marketing and communications at ImmerVision at the time of the interview (he has since moved on from the company), spoke to IFSEC Global about the applications of 360-degree panomorph lenses including for drones, body-worn video and artificial intelligence and ImmerVision s mission to expound its benefits in the security market and beyond.
IFSEC Global: How did IFSEC 2017 go for ImmerVision? Louis Brun: This year at the show we focused on the latest commercially available 4K panomorph lenses and the launch of new 4K panomorph cameras. The 4K lenses are from Evitar and CBC Computar which are supplying to several camera manufacturers. Because of the availability of these high definition 4k lenses, several manufacturers decided to come out with new products during the show. For example, VIVOTEK came out with a new 4K panomorph camera. If you don t have electroninc image stabilisation, what s the point of a body-worn camera? Are you going to put that on an officer and ask them not to move? We also showed Dahua with their latest 4k panomorph camera, also Hanwha, FLIR, Sony, Brickcom, Vista and many others. The image quality from all of these cameras offers edge-to-edge clarity, consistency and no drop in resolution.
All panomorph cameras are instantly compatible with over 50 VMS software partners. In our demos, we showed live video from the 4K cameras and everyone who saw it was really impressed. The cool thing is that you can see people even their faces as they move around the floor at IFSEC. IG: So IFSEC seems like a great place meet everyone all at once? LB: Absolutely. IFSEC is a key venue for us to meet all our partners and new partners. It is a great place to promote our partners and the fact there s a better alternative to fisheye lenses. I m not putting down anyone who has the fisheye solution; it might work for them. But a lot of people are not satisfied with fisheye.
Every day we have a lot of visitors who are wondering how they can integrate 360. When we show integrators and distributors that there s another option to fisheye, they say: Oh my God, we can get this quality ? IFSEC is the perfect opportunity to educate people and talk about how this technology can help them. IG: Are any other companies doing what ImmerVision does? LB: There are no other technology companies focused on 360 like us. Our technology is being leveraged by several companies in other industries for example ACER with their launch of the Holo360 camera or Motorola and their Mod 360 camera. There are also 6K panomorph broadcast cameras which filmed the Superbowl. I can say that we are world s specialist in 360-degree technology. IG: What about the body-worn video market?
LB: There were quite a few at IFSEC. I have noticed two things about the solutions on the market. Most of them weren t using a quality super wide angle lens. They have some quality on there, but they were lacking one thing which in my humble opinion is important: electronic image stabilisation. Given the variety of off-the-shelf panomorph lenses, you re giving a lot of flexibility to manufacturers to find the combination of cost and resolution they want. If you don t have that, what s the point of a body-worn camera? Are you going to put that on an officer and ask them not to move? They re not the Queen s Guards! Electronic image stabilisation is part of our image processing algorithm.
We showcased how that and our latest panomorph lens are implemented in a body-worn camera solution. The lens used in the body-worn reference design can give you up to 21MP in resolution. It s the size of a one pence coin. That 21MP lens is designed to work with several types of sensors from OmniVision, Sony and Samsung. This gives great flexibility and potential to manufacturers. IG: I m guessing the panomorph lens would be invaluable in the drone market? LB: The drone market is interesting and certain companies are now looking at panomorph lens technology, because again, the quality, the size, so many software solutions are compatible and our ecosystem has probably doubled in two years. This would include chip, sensor, module and product manufacturers. IG: If the panormorph lens is superior performance-wise to fisheye, is it not more expensive too?
LB: The technology has been designed to be competitive and to outperform fisheye. Given the variety of off-the-shelf panomorph lenses, you re giving a lot of flexibility to manufacturers to find the combination of cost and resolution they want. Moreover, those cameras are instantly compatible with any software system in the world. Overall, many of our partners are recognising the value that using our technology brings to them and to the market. We are bringing tools to enable manufacturers to create really cool products which are easily integrated across security, consumer, aerospace, AI, automotive, drones and more. IG: What are the possibilities of this technology in the near future and beyond? LB: There was a big announcement at IFA Berlin about a product using our technology solutions: the first 360 360 camera with LTE, the Holo360. This camera will capture full 360 images that can be shares live online. We re also being pulled into artificial intelligence, robots, drones The panomorph lens will imitate human eyesight and enable an evolution in AI.
ImmerVision is the 360 specialist and we are constantly moving forward. Free download: The video surveillance report 2017 Sponsored by IDIS The Video Surveillance Report 2017 covers all things video surveillance based on a poll of hundreds of security professionals. Specifically looking at topics such as open platforms, 4K, low-light cameras, video analytics, warranties and this year due to the growing threat posed, the cybersecurity landscape.
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