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Security Cam Video Getting AI Quality Upgrade with Qualcomm Release

The days of grainy security cam software could soon be over -- if Qualcomm has its way with its latest foray into AI and IoT.

With cutting-edge AI promised n the Qualcomm Vision Intelligence Platform, the low resolution, black and white, bad-quality security footage we're all used to seeing can be replaced by video that will it look like a human videographer was on hand to tape the guy who held up the neighborhood convenience store.

Beyond crime fighting, the company points out that the technology can be used for "sports cameras, wearable cameras, virtual reality (VR) 360 and 180 cameras, robotics, smart displays, and more."

The new platform's ability to provide "extraordinary" image quality includes "4K video resolution at 60 frames per second (fps), or 5.7K at 30 fps, as well as multiple concurrent video streams at lower resolutions," according to the announcement. Qualcomm says it is "the most powerful camera processor" it has ever made.

Qualcomm is touting the Vision Intelligence Platform as its "first family of system-on-chips (SoCs) purpose-built for the Internet of Things (IoT) using advanced 10nm FinFET process technology."

The announcement explains: "The QCS605 and QCS603 SoCs are engineered to deliver powerful computing for on-device camera processing and machine learning, with exceptional power and thermal efficiency, across a wide range of IoT applications. The SoCs integrate Qualcomm Technologies' most advanced image signal processor (ISP) to date and the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine, along with a heterogeneous compute architecture including a cutting-edge ARM-based multicore CPU, vector processor and GPU."

"Our goal is to make IoT devices significantly smarter as we help customers bring powerful on-device intelligence, camera processing and security" according to Joseph Bousaba, vice president, product management, at Qualcomm, who was quoted in the product release. "AI is already enabling cameras with object detection, tracking, classification and facial recognition, robots that avoid obstacles autonomously, and action cameras that learn and generate a video summary of your latest adventure, but this is really just the beginning."

The new platform is designed to be a launch pad for the development of new applications for IoT devices, he said.

KEDACOM, which develops AI solutions for surveillance and law enforcement applications, and Ricoh THETA, which offers "a camera that shoots everything in 360 degrees," are planning to develop products based on the Qualcomm technology, the company notes.

Technology in the platform includes hardware and software for accelerated on-device AI, the company noted. It includes Qualcomm Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE) that offers tools for analysis, optimization, and debugging of applications based on "Tensorflow, Caffe and Caffe2 frameworks, Open Neural Network Exchange interchange format, as well as Android Neural Networks API and Qualcomm Hexagon Neural Network library -- all of which are designed to allow developers and OEMs to easily port trained networks into the platform."

Additional technical and support details for developers are available.