How Does Computer Vision See the World?

What is Computer Vision?

Computer Vision is a field of Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning algorithms that aims to give machine a visual understanding of the surrounding objects. It transform the input of data from still image or video which can be captured using camera or video camera, into a digital representation that can be processed by algorithms to make decision.

Steps Taken By Computer Vision to Identify Objects

Computer Vision is emulate human’s eyes vision using digital images through three main processing steps:
1. Image acquisition
2. Image processing
3. Image analysis and understanding


1. Image Acquisition

A process of translating the analog world around us into digital binary data that are comprised of zeros and ones that contains image data.

There are many different tools that can be used to create such datasets:
1. Webcams & embedded cameras
2. Digital compact cameras & DSLR
3. Consumer 3D cameras & laser range finders

2. Image processing

After the images are being capture, now advanced applied mathematics algorithms and techniques are applied to those binary data acquired in the first step to analyze the low-level information on parts of the image. The result can be characterized by image edges, point features or segments. Some of them are all the basic geometric elements that build objects in images.

Low-level image processing algorithms include:
1. Edge detection

2. Segmentation

3. Classification

4. Feature detection and matching


3. Image analysis and understanding

Coming to the last step of Computer Vision, it is the step of applying high-level algorithms using the outcome from the two steps above. This will allow the algorithm to make right decision.

Examples of high-level image analysis are:
1. 3D scene mapping

2. Object recognition

3. Object tracking

Try to imagine, it is just like a human being, from seeing, thinking and taking action. Human’s eyes act as the cameras that capture images and human brain is the processing unit or machine learning algorithm for analyzing, understanding the information then making decision.

With the implementation of Computer Vision, the surrounding objects that are seen through by our eyes are reflecting into the visual understanding of the world. Then, our brain will help to make decision based on the understanding or the result of analysis.

Applications of Computer Vision

Computer Vision can be used in robotics, human-computer interaction, automobile industries, fraud detection that we can name few at below:

  1. Motion recognition
  2. Object Identification
  3. Augmented reality
  4. Autonomous cars, anti-collision
  5. Image restoration such as denoising


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