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Many of us interact with computer vision applications every day, from Apple’s Face ID and Tesla Autopilot to the Meta Quest and Google Lens. Computer vision gives machines the ability to “perceive” the world like humans do and use that knowledge to augment human efforts. The potential is immense, and analysts agree: The computer vision market is expected to expand to $9.62 billion according to research from Report Ocean.
Here are three of the biggest trends to keep an eye on in the year ahead — and how organizations can unleash new possibilities through computer vision.
Faster, cheaper, more efficient edge computing storage will accelerate CV applications
To date, one of the big bottlenecks in the cloud vision space has been the power of computer vision devices. Because edge devices — think sensors and cameras — haven’t been powerful enough to do their own computation, most of the data processing has had to happen in the cloud. The result: Ballooning costs due to high energy and network bandwidth consumption.
We’re finally seeing that change. Thanks to advancements in edge computing, computer vision applications can run real-time data processing and analysis, which is not just reducing energy and bandwidth burdens, but is also improving computation efficiency. This is a big deal considering that many of the most compelling applications of computer vision rely on ultra-low latency data processing to deliver seamless user experiences.
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In addition, we’re also seeing some exciting advancements in edge storage. Rapid advancements in NAND Flash technology have dramatically increased the volume of data that can be stored on the edge devices through SSDs and micro SD cards.
Notably, these trends have significant implications for CISOs: Because data is stored locally, edge storage is both more secure and more respectful of end user privacy. This is critical to bolstering CV adoption amidst a rapidly evolving privacy and data protection landscape. (More on this below.)
Enterprises will navigate the talent shortage by focusing on upskilling
Today, it’s not the lack of technology that’s holding back the development of computer vision applications — it’s the lack of talent.
Nearly 65% of IT executives see the talent shortage as the most significant factor impacting the adoption of new technologies such as computer vision, according to a recent Gartner study. In response, I believe that we will begin to see more organizations overcome their talent shortages by focusing on upskilling their existing workforce to use the latest technologies.
In particular, consider the rise of low-code and no-code development, which has key implications for advancements in computer vision. Using intuitive graphical user interfaces, visual programming, and pre-built templates, low-code and no-code development platforms reduce the complexities of application development. Such platforms can enable business professionals, citizen developers and non-experts to more quickly build, test and deploy CV applications, allowing specialized talent to work on harder, more niche problems.
These platforms also empower more people to contribute to the advancement of computer vision. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the emergence of platforms such as Apple Create ML, Google AutoML, Clarifai, obviously.ai and viso.ai, all of which are lowering the barrier to entry.
Smart enterprises will embrace privacy as a differentiator
Privacy, once an afterthought for technology companies, has today taken center stage. Consider, for example, Apple, which has leaned into privacy features to create a substantial strategic moat around its business and product ecosystem — much to Facebook’s chagrin.
Continue to watch this trend. As the market learns from Apple’s successes, we’re certain to see more companies differentiate themselves by building privacy into their core value proposition. Customers, in turn, will reward them for doing so. Recent surveys have shown that Gen Z, in particular, cares deeply about privacy and wants to do business with brands that have top-notch data privacy and security infrastructure in place.
These trends have clear implications for privacy-focused businesses, which will be able to command higher prices for their products and services. In addition, because customers are likely to stick with businesses that they trust to protect their personal information, privacy can bolster brand value and long-term customer loyalty.
Pushpak Pujari is head of product for camera software and video products at Verkada.