UK image processing software specialist Spectral Edge is launching its RGB (visible light) and Near Infrared (NIR) fusion solution designated Spectral Edge Fusion into the surveillance market at ISC West 2019 (which runs at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas from 10-12th April.
Spectral Edge Fusion can provide surveillance cameras with high-quality, colour accurate images even in low or mixed lighting conditions. It’s also able to capture much more depth and colour in detail that would normally be hidden in foggy or hazy conditions.
Crucially, as well as delivering better-looking images to human viewers, the Spectral Edge Fusion platform enables applications such as facial or object recognition to deliver higher success rates in low-light conditions.
Spectral Edge Fusion is particularly useful in supporting video analytics capabilities such as facial, object and action recognition, as well as other surveillance applications which demand high-quality images to achieve accurate identification to minimise false positive alerts.
Patented fusion algorithm
Spectral Edge Fusion uses its patented fusion algorithm to create three channels from four original channels: Red, Green, Blue and NIR light. It’s the only technology on the market today which can perform this light fusion without introducing pixelation, artefacts or additional noise. Spectral Edge predicts its development in RGB and NIR fusion will render RGB-only sensors obsolete within the next few years once the technology is proven in the field.
The solution also ensures minimal loss of resolution while delivering improved contrast, dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio. What’s lost in colour as daylight fades is made up for in additional texture and depth of image which the NIR delivers given suitable IR illumination.
It also generates a build and Bill of Materials saving for surveillance camera manufacturers because only one readily-available sensor and lens is needed for a single day/night camera. No mechanical switching between sensors is required and there’s no need for an IR-cut filter. This helps to minimise moving parts which wear out over time and extends surveillance cameras’ Mean Time to Failure.
An additional cost advantage flows from using NIR because it can be detected by the same sensor chip as RGB. There’s no extra cost associated with such manufacturing variants. Put simply, some of the pixels which sense visible light are replaced with pixels sensitive to NIR. Spectral Edge Fusion has already been successfully tested on a range of such sensors which support both RGB and NIR wavelengths.
Spectral Edge Fusion can be fitted into System-on-Chips (SoCs) which process sensor outputs without increasing the silicon area significantly.
Video analytics innovations
Rhodri Thomas (CEO at Spectral Edge) said: “We think that our innovation in RGB and NIR fusion could render RGB-only sensors obsolete a few years from now. We’re looking forward to talking about this with surveillance market players. The US market is highly-focused on manufacturing high-quality sensors designed to optimise the latest video analytics innovations. It’s these vendors, system builders and integrators which Spectral Edge plans to meet at ISC West.”
Spectral Edge was spun out of the University of East Anglia’s Colour Lab five years ago and initially applied its technology to the world of broadcast television to support colour blind viewers and help them view the difference between colours on-screen. A modified version of this technology was licensed by Sky Italia to improve perceptual detail for HDTV viewing. As a result of this licensing arrangement with Sky Italia some 55 satellite channels in Italy use Spectral Edge technology.
Spectral Edge recently secured a third round of £4 million funding to accelerate its R&D work as the company tightens its focus on the surveillance camera market.