Prophesee kit aims to spur adoption of Sony's new event-based vision sensors

Event-based image sensors offer much greater data efficiency than conventional camera-based sensors, capturing only relevant changes in a given view and disregarding other image data. That is a big benefit at a time when image sensors are being applied to so many different use cases across industries.

However, event-based vision sensors can be challenging to implement. Paris-based company Prophesee is trying make things easier with a new ultra-light, compact HD evaluation kit (EVK4) for developers of computer vision systems who want to start evaluation of the Sony IMX636ES HD stacked Event-Based Vision sensor, a new product which features 4.86μm pixel pitch and 1280 x720 pixel resolution. 

Prophesee provided Sony with its Event-Based Metavision sensing technology as the underlying event-based vision technology for the sensor.  Event-Based Metavision sensing enables high-speed, high-precision data acquisition and helps to improve the productivity of industrial equipment, Prophesee said.

The company added that providing an EVK for the new IMX636ES should significantly boost market acceptance because Sony is a leading player in complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors.

“The EVK being announced this week is specifically designed to help system developers evaluate and incorporate that sensor (which is a big deal given that it’s Sony – the largest CMOS sensor in the world),” said a Prophesee spokesman. “It’s a relatively new device and Sony has not announced any customers yet – and actually the EVK is meant to help accelerate adoption.”

In addition to working with Sony, Prophesee also is working with several machine vision and camera companies targeting different markets and industrial use cases. These firms include Framos, Imago, Century Arks and Lucid, which are all industrial camera companies. “Prophesee is also working with several companies in the automotive space, such as Xperi which is developing driving monitoring systems,” the spokesman said. “Prophesee has a very active ‘Inventors Community’ which showcases innovative uses of their vision sensing technology for things as diverse as monitoring for space junk to micro fluid analysis and gene therapy research... Most of these relationships are based on the use of the Prophesee sensor platform (hardware and software).”

The evaluation kit provides computer vision engineers with an extensively tested solution, free software and technical support so that they can more efficiently on-board the technology and more quickly create prototype applications and pursue further development of their applications. 

The software that comes with the kit is Prophesee’s Metavision Intelligence Suite, a comprehensive set of software tools that facilitate efficient application development. It features 95 algorithms, 67 code samples and 11 ready-to-use applications and is augmented by a global Open-Source community of developers, Prophesee said, adding that its aim is to help developers to quickly perform a variety of design exploration steps and efficiently incorporate customized software applications to meet specific market requirements. The company said that more than 4,000 developers already are working on Metavision-based applications.

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