The scientific discipline of computer vision encompasses the theory and technology of machine vision as well as computational models of biological vision systems. The European Computer Vision Network constitutes an interdisciplinary group of research organisations and industries with overlapping coverage of each of the above areas.
Computer vision systems have at least three major types of functions :
The widespread application of computer vision has been held back by overwhelming requirements in computing power and memory. Within the last few years, micro-processors with sufficient computing power and memory have become commonly available at steadily decreasing prices. With this advance in computer power, researchers have shown that it is now possible to construct continuously operating real-time vision systems. Widespread application of such systems requires the development of special purpose hardware, and the development of methods and standards in systems design and systems integration. A base of supplier industries must take up these techniques and provide mass production of reliable components. A cadre of trained engineers must be able to apply these techniques to the needs of end users.