Six ways computer vision is changing business and society

Profile of Mike Dovey - IAG Ventures
Written by Mike Dovey

Computer vision is one of the most transformative technologies of our time with a nearly endless number applications in business and society. 

At IAG Firemark Ventures, we love exploring how computer vision can be applied to our core business of insurance, but the applications go much broader than just that.

Listed below are six of our favorite examples of how computer vision is already being implemented to change the way we live and do business. 

1) Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles use a combination of cameras, radar and lidar to ‘see’ the road – and hopefully not crash. This TED talk by Chris Urmson (formerly the CTO of Google’s self-driving car division) details the journey towards Level 5 autonomous vehicles that can operate truly independently without a human behind the wheel.

2) Checkout-less Shopping

Computer vision is allowing for checkout-less shopping where customers can walk into a store, pick what they want and then simply walk out again. All done without needing to scan and pay for your items at the checkout.

Amazon is already piloting this technology in its Amazon Go stores and we should expect the technology to become more mainstream in the near-term as it is adopted by other retailers globally.

3) Cancer Detection

Computer vision has huge potential within the medical field with applications already in use for the diagnosis of certain cancers. This TED talk by Chris Bakal from The Institute of Cancer Research details the work underway in this space and how computer vision can be used to save lives from cancer.

4) Agriculture

Agriculture is one of humanities oldest industries, but this does not mean it has been left behind technologically. Computer vision is already being used to bring a range of benefits to agriculture including improvements in crop yields, detecting weeds, identifying and counting fruit/plants as well as surveillance and monitoring through drones, aircraft and satellites.

5) Traffic Management

Real-time traffic management is now possible through computer vision technology that ingests live feeds from CCTV footage in order to count cars and detect and respond to incidents on the roads as they happen.

6) Workplace safety

Workplace accidents causing injury or death can be reduced through the implementation of computer vision technology that is programmed to detect hazards and issues in the workplace, before an accident occurs. This short video from Microsoft demonstrates some of the advancements that are occurring within the computer vision for workplace safety space.

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