Computer vision enables self-driving cars to make sense of their surroundings. Cameras capture video from different angles around the car and feed it to computer vision software, which then processes the images in real-time to find the extremities of roads, read traffic signs, detect other cars, objects and pedestrians. The self-driving car can then steer its way on streets and highways, avoid hitting obstacles, and (hopefully) safely drive its passengers to their destination.
Computer vision also plays an important role in facial recognition applications, the technology that enables computers to match images of people’s faces to their identities. Computer vision algorithms detect facial features in images and compare them with databases of face profiles. Consumer devices use facial recognition to authenticate the identities of their owners. Social media apps use facial recognition to detect and tag users. Law enforcement agencies also rely on facial recognition technology to identify criminals in video feeds.
Computer vision also plays an important role in augmented and mixed reality, the technology that enables computing devices such as smartphones, tablets and smart glasses to overlay and embed virtual objects on real world imagery. Using computer vision, AR gear detect objects in real world in order to determine the locations on a device’s display to place a virtual object. For instance, computer vision algorithms can help AR applications detect planes such as tabletops, walls and floors, a very important part of establishing depth and dimensions and placing virtual objects in physical world.