With the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas wrapped up, what’s in store for the future? Some of the best guesses probably come from the IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE), which started on Sunday, also in Las Vegas. A preview panel from ICCE took place at CES on Saturday, with the ICCE conference organizers providing an overview of technology they think is likely to come to market in the next few years.
Video is expected to continue to be a major growth area for both software and hardware companies, especially real-time automated image processing. This will be used, for example, to improve face detection and in autofocusing or deblurring high-definition video captured by handheld camcorders (in which the individual pixels are so small that it’s impossible to hold the camera still enough to avoid constantly shifting the image across the imaging sensor). “The cutting edge is now HD video—processing it at 60 frames per second,” said Peter Corcoran, technical chair of the ICCE conference and the vice-dean of engineering and informatics at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Many of the techniques involve capturing several images from the sensor and combining them into one “good” picture or frame of video. The algorithms used to perform this processing will receive a significant performance boost as more chip makers build video-processing circuitry into their processors.
Even though 3-D TV has already reached the consumer market, it should continue to be a very active area of research, with a lot of work being done to improve the quality of conversion from 2-D to 3-D. Current conversion systems are usually able to determine that a building belongs in the background and a moving car belongs in the foreground, for example, but problems in placement can arise with the parts of the building that are seen through the windows of the car. More basic challenges also remain, with researchers looking at why some people seem to develop headaches from watching 3-D and what could be done to alleviate the problem.