Industry analysis firm ABI Research predicts that the connected imaging equipment market will go through a substantial increase in value between now and 2020 - with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% being witnessed over this period. The Internet of Things (IoT) has been identified as the driving force behind this ramp up. There are all manner of different areas where IoT-based imaging technology will prove advantageous. Among these are building access systems, surveillance equipment, smart lighting systems, baby monitors, smart devices and remote maintenance.
There are fundamental criteria that engineers must be aware of when incorporating a video imaging aspect into an IoT system. They are as follows:
- Firstly, simplicity is paramount. The video subsystem should be straightforward to implement (even for engineers with limited experience of imaging technology).
- As a large proportion of IoT applications will require battery powered operation, minimizing the power budget is another high priority.
- The ability to transfer captured video data via a suitable communication standard is also of great importance. In most cases this be done wireless (due to the ease of implementation this potentially offers).
- There also need to be features in place that will enable a degree of intelligent operation, in order for video streaming or still image capture to be initiated at appropriate times (such as if a baby stirs while sleeping, or if someone is moving outside the user’s home).
- A suitable cloud platform should be utilized, so that video data can be accessed effectively (Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform being the most common options).
ON Semiconductor is fully aware of the dynamics that will characterize future low power IoT video streaming applications and in response has introduced a highly effective video development kit (VDK) - MatrixCam™. Based on the company’s AR023Z 1/3-inch format CMOS image sensor, with a 1080p (1928x1088) resolution active-pixel array, this highly flexible open source imaging platform can markedly shorten OEM product development cycles and thereby accelerate time to market. This production-ready IoT camera solution can be controlled using portable electronic devices (such as smartphones, tablet PCs, etc.). It supports a wide range of interface technologies, including Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n), Ethernet (10/100 Mbps), Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Micro USB (for power, debugging and firmware upgrade purposes).MatrixCam VDK can connect to cloud services such as Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services for video playback, with support for video-on-demand (VoD) and 30 fps live streaming. Intelligent streaming functionality comes from its system wake-up mechanism. This can be triggered either via BLE or the built-in passive infrared (PIR) sensor through which motion may be determined (with a 140° detection angle and a 10-15 ft detection range). Upon wake-up, a push notification is sent to the assigned portable electronic device to alert the user that a live video stream or still image content needs to be examined. The MatrixCam VDKunit is supplied with an 8 GB microSD card for storage of video data.
The hardware elements are complemented by software support, with software design documents available to download (from ON Semiconductor’s key technology partners). The VDK can be configured by utilizing an intuitive web-based graphical user interface, or via a dedicated mobile application. To learn more go to: www.onsemi.com/matrixcam.