Today we’re back again sharing the basics of two not-so-emergent technology concepts and breaking down the basics between each: computer vision and machine vision.

It is possible that you’re reading this blog and have never heard of computer vision or machine vision. The concepts are well-known and discussed within the technology world, but the same can’t be said for the general public. Despite that unfamiliarity, the general public is already experiencing computer vision and machine vision in ways they may be surprised by. Read on to learn more.

Computer Vision

Computer vision falls under the Artificial Intelligence umbrella just like machine learning does. The goal is to utilize computers to acquire, process, analyze and understand digital images or videos. For instance, computer vision is being employed when a train station has a computer use security camera footage to count the number of people entering and exiting instead of manually counting with a turnstile. Or computer vision is at use when driverless cars use a live video feed to make decisions about turning, braking, speed, etc.

Have you seen the augmented reality capabilities from IKEA? The company encourages you to use your device to video your living room and then they virtually place sofas, coffee tables and chairs in real time for your consideration before making the big purchase. That’s possible because of computer vision. Summed up, computer vision is attempting to use a computer to emulate the human eye, visual cortex and brain when acquiring, processing, analyzing and understanding images.

We’ve talked about computer vision before here on our blog.

Machine Vision

When computer vision is put in place in an industrial (and sometimes non-industrial) setting to inform operations and functions of a machine, we call that machine vision. An inspection task at a manufacturing facility once performed by humans, can now be performed by machine vision.

Machine vision is at use when at a manufacturing facility, a machine will scan (read: computer vision) a bottle to ensure the liquid product (like cleaning solution, soda, medicine, etc.) is correct, the fill level is correct, the container is free of flaws, the correct label is placed (and placed straight!), the expiration date is correct, etc. And when one or more of these conditions aren’t met, machine vision has logic in place to tell the production line to reject the item. The beauty of machine vision is that all of the sample analyses I gave above are performed by one machine, with a high-degree of accuracy, over and over again.

At Oak City Labs, our mission is help businesses and organizations solve daily problems with technology. Utilizing computer vision and machine vision are excellent ways to accomplish that task. Do you have a problem that you need help solving? If so, let us know! We’d love to chat.