The following is a set of use cases where our customers have successfully used Imager to address various aspects of their camera system design, analysis, fabrication, test and/or calibration workflows:
Go from a high level concept to specifications – Often a camera design project starts with a goal. Imager helps the camera engineer go from a goal to component specifications while considering the numerous technical and business objectives. Find the right balance between cost and performance and custom vs. off-the-shelf parts. Quantify the tradeoffs and communicate the results using a medium that everyone understands; images.
Improve computer vision algorithm results – Replace your pinhole camera model with a high fidelity model and better understand the impact of changes in lighting, motion, real optical aberrations, system depth of field, high dynamic range, and noise. Introduce known degradations to quantify performance and understand performance bounds. Get to a better solution quicker.
Improve an existing product – With an existing camera product, there are often opportunities to reduce cost, or improve performance by changing to new lens or sensor components. You also have to manage customization requests. It takes a lot of experimentation to understand how component changes are going to influence your system’s performance. Imager predicts your new system’s performance without hardware iterations, allowing you to greatly reduce development costs and risks, and to get your improved product to market quicker.
Understand if your new camera design will meet your goals – Use your virtual camera in a realistic imaging scenario to understand if it is going to meet your goals. Run experiments on your computer, reduce risk, improve confidence in your solution, and then invest in hardware.
Compare systems and understand tradeoffs – There are a lot of ideas about how to make better cameras. Try them out and see if they provide the benefit you hope they will. Understand tradeoffs and easily communicate them to your team.
Determine how to test your new camera hardware – You have a new camera system and now it is time to test it. Determine what you should be testing, what charts you will need, and where you should place them. Maximize your measurement SNR and reduce the risk of passing cameras that should fail.
Understand the impact of camera tolerances – Understand the impact of camera tolerances such as sensor tilts and decenters on your camera system performance. Use your knowledge to improve your calibration process, make your algorithms more robust to errors, or to better specify acceptable sensor alignment tolerances to your manufacturing team.
Communicate and negotiate with vendors – Often yield can be improved if specifications are slightly changed, but it is difficult to visually understand the impact of these changes. Use Imager to visualize if the specification changes will be noticeable and make better decisions about the balance between cost and performance.
Try out your new lens design – You think your lens design will work much better than the last generation lens design. Try it out in your system and see if it meets your expectations. Look at the impact of mismatches between the lens CRA and sensor microlens shifts, see how it will perform in low light conditions, see if hand shake is going to be an issue, and see how sensitive your design is to sensor tilt and decentration.