Log in
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Dynamic quotes 

4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nasdaq  >  Alphabet    GOOGL

Mes dernières consult.
Most popular
News SummaryMost relevantAll newsSector newsTweets

Chip Makers Are Adding 'Brains' Alongside Cameras' Eyes

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
10/04/2017 | 01:15pm CET
By Ted Greenwald 

Chip companies are adding greater smarts to cameras, spurring a new generation of machines that not only capture imagery but interpret and act on what they see.

Such advances in computer vision -- the ability to extract information from images -- can enable, say, a network of security cameras to track a package's movement. Or, in the case of Apple Inc.'s newly unveiled iPhone X, unlock a smartphone by recognizing a person's face.

Alphabet Inc.'s Nest Labs in September announced a doorbell equipped with a Qualcomm Inc. chip, a video camera and facial-recognition software that can send an alert to a Nest mobile app if it sees a familiar face.

The market for computer-vision systems is nascent, poised to expand from roughly $1 billion last year to $2.6 billion in 2021, according to International Data Corp. Emerging products such as autonomous vehicles and personal robots portend continuing growth, and Intel Corp., Qualcomm and other chip makers are jockeying to supply the brains to new machines.

"These [applications] are edging into viability," said IDC analyst Michael Palma. "Maybe not mass viability, but very, very close."

Blue River Technology, a Silicon Valley startup acquired for $305 million last month by Deere & Co., is using computer vision powered by Nvidia Corp. to help lettuce farmers boost productivity and reduce or reallocate labor costs.

Farmers tend to plant lettuce seeds densely and then thin the overcrowded sprouts using hoes, a time-consuming operation.

Blue River's See & Spray, a rig that hitches to the back of a tractor, uses up to two dozen cameras, each equipped with an Nvidia computer called Jetson, to identify individual sprouts and evaluate their distance from neighbors with quarter-inch accuracy. Those too close together get doused automatically with a precisely aimed shot of fertilizer, enough to kill an individual plant even as it nourishes the field -- no manual labor required.

See & Spray can typically thin an acre of lettuce in 12 minutes, work that would take a person eight hours, according to Richard Smith, a specialist in vegetable crop production from the University of California, Davis. Blue River claims the machine can increase crop yield by 10%. Deere plans to extend the technology to other crops as part of its effort to shift agriculture from tending fields to nurturing individual plants.

Willy Pell, who oversees new technology at Blue River, believes machines outfitted to perceive the world and act on what they sense without human intervention will drive the next wave of Silicon Valley investment.

"There's a lot of humanity that's simply using eyes and hands to do things," he said. Machines outfitted with camera eyes and silicon brains soon will be able to take over "all kinds of repetitive tasks."

The same technology is bringing new capabilities to consumer products as well. Qualcomm's next-generation Snapdragon smartphone chips will transform camera output into detailed 3-D maps, a boon for superimposing computer-generated imagery over real-world scenes in augmented-reality apps.

Myriad, a line of chips from Intel's Movidius division that is designed to perform artificial-intelligence computations using very little electrical power, has found a niche in security cameras and drones, and is branching into medicine.

Doctor Hazel, a startup, created an AI tool using a Myriad chip that works with a medical camera to detect skin cancers on the spot. It diagnoses cancers with up to 85% accuracy, and that rate should improve as the system is further trained with images of known benign and malignant moles, according to Doctor Hazel co-founder Mike Borozdin.

One advantage to these new computer-vision systems: They pack enough computing horsepower to apply AI to images locally, rather than needing to interact with remote servers. That speeds up processing, enabling devices to work without a reliable network connection -- for, say, a drone inspecting turbines on a wind farm -- while avoiding the risk of exposing information that may be private or proprietary.

Deepu Talla, Nvidia's vice president in charge of AI for applications such as robotics and drones, believes both local and remote processing will be necessary.

Cameras mounted on traffic lights in an urban area can, for instance, count passing vehicles and forward their tallies to a cloud data center that analyzes the output and controls the lights to keep traffic flowing smoothly. Nvidia is working on similar systems in Hangzhou, China, with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and in Shenzhen, China, with Huawei Technologies Co.

"There's not enough human eyeballs available" to make sense of all the imagery cameras will capture, said Mr. Talla. "You need computer vision."

Write to Ted Greenwald at [email protected]

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
Latest news on ALPHABET
12/13 ALPHABET : 12.13.2017 Alphabet Announces Date of Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year ..
12/13 ALPHABET : Google launching artificial intelligence research centre in China
12/13 ALPHABET : Google launches artificial intelligence research center in China
12/13 ALPHABET : Google launching artificial intelligence research center in China
12/08 PepsiCo to move to Nasdaq after nearly a century with NYSE
12/07 KEY TO PANDORA'S TURNAROUND : a better advertising platform
12/07 ALPHABET INC : Today’s Research Reports on Stocks to Watch: Alphabet Inc. and Ro..
12/06 EU urges internet companies to do more to remove extremist content
12/06 Google beats class action sex bias claims, for now
12/06 Google beats class action sex bias claims, for now
More news
News from SeekingAlpha
07:15a Facebook And Alphabet Will No Longer Be Technology Companies
07:08a WALL STREET BREAKFAST : Mouse Hunts Down The Fox
12/13 DOJ confirms criminal investigation of Uber in Waymo case
12/13 White House enlists major cloud provider for IT overhaul
12/13 DEEP DIVE : Ripple/XRP Edition Part I
Financials ($)
Sales 2017 110 B
EBIT 2017 27 005 M
Net income 2017 22 736 M
Finance 2017 69 845 M
Yield 2017 -
P/E ratio 2017 32,54
P/E ratio 2018 25,38
EV / Sales 2017 5,95x
EV / Sales 2018 4,78x
Capitalization 727 B
Duration : Period :
Alphabet Technical Analysis Chart | GOOGL | US02079K3059 | 4-Traders
Technical analysis trends ALPHABET
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 46
Average target price 1 172 $
Spread / Average Target 12%
EPS Revisions
Lawrence E. Page Chief Executive Officer & Director
Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin President & Director
Eric E. Schmidt Executive Chairman
Ruth Porat Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
Louis John Doerr Independent Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
ALPHABET31.82%726 741
BAIDU42.69%80 965
NAVER CORP--.--%25 504
YANDEX NV63.39%10 643
TAKEAWAY.COM108.00%2 451