Computer vision technology is the poster child of artificial intelligence. It is the sector of the industry that gets the most media attention because of the tools and benefits the technology can provide. From autonomous vehicles and drones to cancer detection and augmented reality, technologies that once only existed in science fiction are now at our doorstep.
However, none of them would be possible without the companies that built them. This list will cover 5 computer vision companies to follow in 2020. While these companies operate in different industries, all of them build or help build the computer vision technology rapidly changing our world today.
In 2019, there were a total of 417 mass shootings in the United States alone. While law enforcement does their best to protect their citizens, improving standards for surveillance and security could help create a safer society. Athena Security provides an AI surveillance system that uses computer vision technology to detect guns, knives, and other weapons in real time. Once detected, the system can alert security or inform law enforcement of the threat immediately.
Athena Security already has around 1000 cameras actively guarding numerous schools, religious institutions, and businesses around the world. The company raised $5.5 million in seed funding in mid 2019 and hopes to help prevent gun-related crimes in the United States.
Sample of Lionbridge’s Image Annotation Platform
From autonomous vehicles to face recognition apps, computer vision tech wouldn’t be possible without high-quality training data. Lionbridge is the sole provider of AI training data for some of the world’s largest computer vision companies. With an internal team of data scientists, and a community of over 1 million contributors, Lionbridge provides various crowdsourced data annotation services. Lionbridge’s services are used to create computer vision training data at scale to build and train industry-leading AI models. They are also well known for providing ad hoc on-site data collection services for Fortune 500 companies.
2019 was a good year for the company, beginning with the acquisition of Gengo AI and ending with the announcement of a major contract with the Canadian government. Furthermore, they were named the 2nd largest language services provider (LSP) in the world as well as one of Forbes Top 500 Large Employers of America. In early 2020, Lionbridge is set to release an all-in-one data annotation platform for images, audio, video, and text.
The widespread use of the Internet and the advent of the Google search engine changed the way people search for information. Similarly, breakthroughs in natural language processing has led to greater voice recognition technology, which in turn has led to increased use of voice search. According to Quoracreative, 40% of adults now use voice search daily.
However, with increased access to image data and the increase of computer vision companies entering the AI market, visual search could be the way of the future. Owned by Imaginestics, VizSeek is a visual search engine that could revolutionize the ecommerce, manufacturing, and engineering industries. VizSeek allows customers to search for products or parts in a database by simply taking a picture or even drawing a sketch.
In December of 2019, the company received a 1.5 million dollar grant through the United States Air Force. Imaginestics will use VizSeek in the creation of an Additive Manufacturing Advisory System for the Air Force.
Oculus is the company behind the famous Oculus Rift, one of the first-ever VR gaming devices. However, when competition in the VR industry grew, devices like the HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and Microsoft HoloLens took up large portions of the market. In March of 2014, Oculus was acquired by Facebook giving them more resources to compete against the likes of Microsoft, HTC, and Sony.
2020 is looking to be a very big year for Oculus. In December of 2019, the company announced the release of hand tracking capabilities for their VR headsets. Oculus VR headsets, such as the Quest or Rift S, can now use built-in cameras to track the player’s hands. Essentially, the player’s hands become the controller, eliminating the need for traditional controllers altogether. With more updates to come in 2020, superior hand tracking could thrust Oculus far ahead of the competition.
One of the most promising and important use cases for computer vision technology is improving radiology. To become an expert in radiology takes years of study and practice. As a result, lesser-developed countries have poor access to proper medical care. For example, in Nigeria there are less than 60 radiologists for a total of 190 million people. Furthermore, even in countries that have a sufficient amount of radiologists, false negatives still occur. Specifically, Mammogram screenings have an overall 20% error rate. This means that with traditional mammogram screenings, 1 in 5 cases of breast cancer can go undetected.
CureMetrix hopes to use computer vision for medical images to help solve these problems. The company utilizes computer vision technology to build their state-of-the-art Computer Aided Detection (CAD) software, cmTriage. CureMetrix is building this software to aid radiologists in mammogram evaluation, thus reducing healthcare costs and improving standards of care. In 2019, the company received FDA clearance for cmTriage and has drawn more and more attention from both the press and clinicians around the world.
Interest and investment in artificial intelligence is on the rise. Therefore, we’ll likely see more and more innovation in the field of computer vision. Above were just five computer vision companies that show potential for large growth in 2020.
To keep up with all the latest in computer vision technology and other machine learning news, please check out the related resources below:
Disclaimer: I am a former employee of Lionbridge AI. This article was originally posted on the Lionbridge AI blog.
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