Smart camera, also known as intelligent camera, is an image processing system designed with a motive to automate decision in an industrial capacity. Smart camera is viewed as hybrid of smartphone and digital camera on the basis of its usage and applications it supports. In addition to picture capturing property smart camera is capable of extracting application specific information from the number of picture captured. Smart camera is a standalone vision system with inbuilt image sensor within the video camera. Smart camera may consists all or some of these components such as image sensor, Image memory, Image digitization circuitry, processor, communication interface (Ethernet), lens holder or inbuilt lens, illumination device (mostly LED) and video output. Communication interface property of smart camera helps in transferring the pictures wirelessly using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC (near-field communication).
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Smart cameras also have the capacity of interacting with smartphone and PC application. With the help of smart camera people can directly upload pictures and videos on various social media platforms and other photo-sharing portals.
Smart camera is still considered as niche market owing to less number of players operating in the global smart camera market. Smart camera is used for various purposes including automated inspection for quality assurance, part sorting and identification, code reading and verification (barcode, data matrix and alphanumeric data), visual sensor networks and detection of intruders, fire or smoke detection. Also, used for web inspection (inspection of continuous flow of material such as coils, tubes, wires and extruded plastics).
North America has the largest market share for smart camera, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific. The U.S. is the largest market for smart camera globally owing to its wide area of application. Asia-Pacific region is expected to witness double digit growth in the forecasted period owing to the increasing domestic demand in the emerging markets of India and China.
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Advancement in technology paired with varied application of smart camera is driving the global smart phone market. Additionally, consumer desire to have digital camera combined with features resembling smartphone is expected to increase demand of smart camera to some extent. However, smartphone with better camera quality can hinder the growth of smart camera.
Consumer demanding more of smartphone resembling camera is prompting various software companies to invest in the smart camera manufacturing. Some of the major companies operating in the global smart camera market are Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus and Polaroid.