IoT Roadshow, Sunnyvale, CA – Socionext: Image stabilization plus automotive imaging
The Embedded Computing Design IoT Roadshow landed in Sunnyvale, CA recently, making a stop at Socionext. This was a new company on my radar, mostly because it is a new company. To call it a startup, however, would be misleading. It’s more of a joint venture/merger between Panasonic and Fujitsu, with a majority of the employees coming from one of those two companies.
The high-level mission for Japan-based Socionext is to design and develop comprehensive SoC products, but the parts I got a peek at were in the graphics/imaging space. We spent some time talking about 4K television, video-conferencing, and smart home/security – but things really got interesting when the conversation turned to image stabilization or, as Socionext calls it, EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization). We looked at a video from a camera attached to a personal drone, shown below.
As you can see, the EIS technology does wonders for the video quality. If nothing else, it makes it much more watchable. It quickly became evident that this technology should be included on just about any camera that’s required to be on the move.
From that demo, we moved on to something a little more dangerous—literally. The Socionext designers constructed a golf camera armed with various image sensors to create an aerial-like image of the cart. The technology is for automotive applications, although I’ve seen a few golfers that might be interested.
With the sensors, you get a quasi-bird’s eye view of the automobile, showing the area immediately surrounding it. Hence, it makes a great tool for collision avoidance, lane-departure warning, and certainly autonomous driving. The golf cart was clearly a prototype, but the potential was obvious.