The lectures can include the topics listed below, but are not limited to them.
- Natural User Interface and Gestures
- Vision Computation Challenges: Big Data and Parallel Computing
- Mobile Vision Applications
- Vision in Autonomous Systems
- Medical Applications
- Classification Solutions for Vision
- Image Formation, Optics and Sensors
- Machine Learning
- Video Search and Retrieval
Is having fun the driving force of Computer Vision?
Computer vision, image processing and video analysis are fast growing fields that deal with acquisition, enhancement, analysis and transition of visual data.
In the last two decades the driving force behind the intensive research done in these fields were the security, surveillance and defense applications. The ability to capture visual data and detect people, hazardous situations and threats were exploited to increase individual, national and international safety. Several Israeli companies have gained substantial reputation as image processing and computer vision leaders in security and defense applications, Rafael, Elbit, ElOp, Nice and Verint to name a few. It is interesting to follow the process of knowledge and expertise flow from these companies to applications in other fields, for example Given Imaging, a medical company that develops a non-invasive disposable camera the size of a capsule for the diagnosis of gastrointestinal track diseases. The initial founding for the company was provided by Elron Electronic Industries, Israel's leading technology holding company, in cooperation with Rafael who provided the initial technology and technical knowhow.
But things have evolved and nowadays it seems that although our world can still be safer and more secure, the forces that move technology forwards are related to having fun. Visual data plays a very important and a constantly increasing role in multimedia and entertainment. It started in the gaming arena, where more and more sophisticated graphics led to more and more powerful Graphic Processing Units and advanced algorithms. Gaming has become a major player where advanced image processing algorithms and expertise are needed for, for example Microsoft's Kinect, a controller free gaming product. This is part of the concept of Natural User Interface, NUI, where one's body is the controller. But gaming is only part of the story. State of the art image processing is now all over the social networks. People search for images of themselves, their friends and constantly tag and refer to them. Sharing your thoughts and ideas via textual based media is not enough. People are communicating via sharing and exchange of images. In this respect, it is interesting to mention face.com, a face recognition application that Facebook is using to allow people to search for their friends on the basis of their visual appearance. Visual search engines play an increasingly important role in shopping and contents consumption. Visual search engines are the holy grail of machine vision and video applications and it seems that everybody is trying to become THE VisualGoogle, including Google itself.
All these require advanced mathematics, fast algorithms and definitely a lot of work for machine vision specialists. So, will having fun advance the field of machine vision in the future? Probably yes. But it also seems that until our world resolves all its conflicts, surveillance and defense companies will still be major players and technology leaders in these fields.