What would smartphones be without apps? They would be mobile phones that can’t do much more than make phone calls and sending SMS. Apps turn smartphones into intelligent assistants with any number of different tasks. Transferred into the world of image processing, this app-based approach transforms cameras and sensors into customised, smart vision sensors.
"Smart" devices evaluate the states or characteristics of their environment themselves and transmit only a few, but application-relevant data to PCs or process controllers. Traditional vision sensors, such as barcode readers for example, often provide only a few predefined tasks and their functionality cannot usually be extended. The solution is a vision app-based device that can handle a wide range of tasks. By using apps, this versatile device is quickly configured and put into operation.
IDS NXT is a new generation of vision app-based industrial cameras from IDS. Their image processing engine delivers either pre-processed data to a PC or final results to independently made process decisions. With the app-based approach, recurring vision tasks can be set up and changed easily and in a very short time. Develop your own individual vision apps with the IDS Software Development Kit and install them on your IDS NXT device just like on a smartphone. The freely programmable platform is not restricted to specific tasks. The possibility to install any vision apps offers universal possibilities in numerous fields of application. For example in optical quality assurance, as an analytical instrument in medical technology, for monitoring tasks by facial recognition or vehicle and person counting.
The IDS NXT platform kicks off with the IDS NXT vegas, with light-sensitive 1.3 MP CMOS sensor (colour or monochrome), liquid lens with autofocus, integrated TOF (time of flight) sensor and numerous other functions and features. The colour sensor model can be recognized by its white LEDs.
The unique feature of the IDS NXT device generation is that new functions can be installed as easily as apps on a smartphone.
In addition to standard apps, individual tasks can be realised with the help of the IDS NXT app development kit. App developers receive valuable support from the extensive IDS NXT libraries. This allows them to concentrate fully on the actual task of the vision app: the image processing. The device firmware is delivered with a pre-installed HALCON runtime licence for embedded vision. The integration of the HALCON image processing takes place as usual via the C++ interface or through complete scripts using the HDevEngine. The latter guarantees that image processing can be created and tested completely platform-independently on a desktop PC. With an optional encryption the app execution can be restricted to protect your own "own expertise" against misuse.
Interaction elements from the IDS NXT Vision App Library automatically connect image processing to the outside world. Special C++ classes provide actions, configuration parameters, results and data sources. In addition to their according callback functions within the app source code, an interaction interface is provided via the main RESTful web service. This enables REST clients to configure any previously unknown app without being updated. In addition, the IDS NXT Cockpit dynamically generates a complete GUI (Graphical User Interface) for each app, making it a universal configuration tool.