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A novel approach towards a Smarter DSLR Camera


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In this whitepaper a novel model is proposed for designing next generation DSLR camera by embracing M2M communication technology.

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A novel approach towards a Smarter DSLR Camera

  1. 1. A Novel Approach towards a Smarter DSLR Camera
  2. 2. Abstract Abbreviations Market Trends and Challenges Problem Definition Proposed Solution Feasibility Analysis of the Proposed Solution Impediments and Challenges Future Business Opportunities Conclusion Reference Author Info 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 10 10 TABLE OF CONTENTS
  3. 3. For several decades, DSLR cameras have become quite popular among amateur and professional pho- tographers.The DSLR camera has garnered this popularity due to its ability to capture very high quality images and its easy operation.To capture high quality pictures, these cameras are fitted with high quality optical lens, high resolution image sensors,powerful processors, and advanced digital image processing software. The fancier the camera, the higher the image quality,and the higher the cost. These days, manu- facturers are competing hard against smart phone cameras to save their marketas well as address product cost reduction issues. This is the new mantra in the technological space, where machines can communicate with each other over wireless networks without any human intervention. In this whitepaper, a novel model is proposed to design a smarter camera by embracing machine to machine (M2M) technology, to achieve significant cost reduc- tions in comparison with conventional cameras and without compromising on image quality. This whitepa- per also highlights some of the known impediments and future business opportunities. Abstract “Everything that can be benefited from the connection will have one”--Ericsson
  4. 4. DSLR M2M 3G LTE MP ECC CEPT MSISDN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Digital Single Lens Reflex Machine to Machine Third Generation Mobile Technology Long Term Evolution Mega Pixel Electronic Communications Committee European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number Abbreviations
  5. 5. Point and shoot cameras, which are popularly used in smart phones, are now threatening the market share of DSLR cameras. This is because today’s smart phone is equipped with a high resolution camera and applications that help improve picture quality that is good enough to share on Facebook or other photo sharing applications. However, industry observers are still upbeat about the future of DSLR cameras, as smart phones are creating more photo- graphic enthusiasts and they would naturally and gradually move towards DSLR cameras due to their immensely superior image quality. To stay relevant in the market these days, manufactures are trying to find innovative solutions to reduce the cost of the products without compromising on image quality. LENs optics Figure 1: Conventional Digital Camera Model LCD MONITOR Flash memory buffer memory Imaging device (ccs or cmos) Market Trends and Challenges
  6. 6. DDR SDRAM CF card SD card 21.1M CMOS 14.bit A/D Conversion FRont-end processing circuit Dual “DIGIC III” The Image Processing Unit (as shown in Figure 1 [8]) is the brain of any DSLR camera. It converts raw data captured by the camera’s sensor to the desired image. The quality of the final image depends on the processing power of the unit and the software used for digital image processing. At the Iphone-4 launch event in the Worldwide Developer Con- ference, taking a dig at android phones, Steve Jobs rightly said that the megapixel is not everything. It is the engineering behind the camera that matters the most. Therefore, a 16 MP camera with a superior processor can capture far superior photographs than a 24 MP camera. If we compare the price of DSLR cameras in online markets, the camera with the higher processor unit costs 20-40% more, even if the quality of the optical lens and resolu- tion of the image sensor remains the same. Problem Definition
  7. 7. In this white paper, we propose a novel solution for designing next generation DSLR cameras by embracing M2M communication technology. In this model, the functionalities of image processing i.e. processor and the software, will be removed from the camera and installed in a centralized server. As shown in Figure 3, these cameras simply capture the raw data from the sensors and inbuilt wireless modems help to transfer such data over a cellular/wireless network. Image processing will be done at the server and the processed image is transferred back for users to view it. The central server, which will be designed to handle large numbers of M2M-enabled cameras, will have very sophisticated hardware and advanced image processing tools. With high speed network connectivity, the overall processing time will be a fraction of a second even if the location of the server is a thousand miles away from the photographer. Moreover, the captured images will be stored in a cloud server and hence, less storage will be required on the camera. The benefit of this arrangement is that it will help to improve the quality of the processed image significantly, in comparison with conventional cameras. As the image processing unit is no longer required in the camera, the overall cost of the camera will be much less. However, a wireless modem needs to be installed in the camera. Proposed Solution
  8. 8. Chromebook laptops, which use the Google Chrome operating system, are designed for use when they are primarily connected to the internet, and can run cloud-based applications. These laptops are light weight (1-1.5 kg), energy efficient (~7 hour battery life) and cheaper (250 USD) when com- pared with conventional laptops. The sales of Chromebook laptops have soared by 67% during the third quarter of 2014, and over six million Chromebook laptops were sold in that year. The increase in demand is driven by heavy internet users, particularly in educational institutions. The year-on-year growth statistics show end user openness to embrace the latest technologies. At the same time, innovative startups like Magic Lantern are developing open source software, which will be loaded in the memory card of the camera and will process the raw image data. Even Sony is weighing its options to promote third party developers to build applications for smart phones to com- municate through Wi-Fi with its cameras. So in the future, we will likely see camera manufactures relying more and more on third party developers for image processing tools. In the case of today’s security cameras, centrally located digital video recorders receive the videos, process them, and compress and store them. Security cameras, basically a dumb terminal, send the raw video images over a local area network (LAN)/Ethernet. The digital video recorder has all the intelligence of the system and the responsibility of detecting motion, scheduling, notifying, and rais- ing alarms. Similarly, there are other existing applications for weather forecasting, and for determining where the captured data from various sensors are being processed and stored at a centrally located server. In my proposed solution, the image processing unit in the camera should be moved to the cloud and the digital image processing software can be developed either by the manufacturer or the third party developer. From the above case studies, we can infer that the design of the proposed solution is both economical and technically viable. Feasibility Analysis of the Proposed Solution
  9. 9. In this proposed model, high speed network connectivity is a basic necessity for a smooth user experience. Adventure photographers often go to remote locations and it is highly probable that the network connectivity is poor in such areas. The camera’s design must therefore be able to address such connectivity related issues in these locations. Even in urban locations with good network con- nectivity, these cameras need to compete with a large number of wireless devices to get access to a network. Current cellular technology - 3G and LTE - are not tailor-made for these kinds of devices. However, the next generation (5G) mobile technology, which is majorly focused on M2M communi- cation, will be able to take care of such issues related to network connectivity and reliability. Also, Google’s project Loon is designed to provide high speed internet service in rural and remote loca- tions. Another challenge would be to facilitate global roaming so that these cameras can be used across the globe. The total number of M2M-enabled connected devices will cross 50 billion by the year 2020. It will thus become a challenge to provide identities to such large numbers of devices and find suitable schemes for identification and addressal. These days, mobile devices like cell phones are identified by 10 digit MSISDN numbers, which can support a maximum of 10 billion devices. The Electronic Communications Committee (ECC) within the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunica- tions Administrations (CEPT) has recommended several solutions to resolve issues relating to device identification and addressal. Another key challenge would be to protect these cameras from external threats, such as cyber-at- tacks, viruses and malwares. In addition, the necessary steps must be taken to prevent theft and the manipulation of images at the cloud server. There are several researches underway in the area of secure M2M communication, which will be beneficial in designing the security aspects of these types of cameras. And finally, the massive amounts of data that would be generated from a large number of camera sensors will introduce several computational complexities. For example: how would such data be efficiently managed and quickly processed at the server? Impediments and Challenges
  10. 10. The increasing demand for sharing photos and videos online has created tremendous business opportunities for several innovative startups like Instagram, Flickr, and Foko. The business potential can easily be appraised from the growth of Instagram - a one and a half year old company acquired by Facebook for USD 1 billion in 2012, which has been growing over 23% annually since then. Simi- larly, Flickr has more than 87 million registered users and more than 3.5 million new images uploaded daily. A relatively new start up - Foko Inc., - a photo sharing and messaging service for enterprises, has grown its user base quickly and recently raised USD 450,000 from Angel Investors. It won’t be surprising if these companies collaborate with camera manufactures to develop cloud-based, M2M-enabled DSLR cameras to keep their market share and maintain their growth momentum. Processing sensor data at a cloud server to generate high quality images with the help of sophisticat- ed hardware is a very novel concept. There will be potential business opportunities for companies to design and develop advanced image processing tools. One of the major innovations would include the possibility of generating 3D images by using artificial intelligence, which is otherwise not very cost efficient or possible with conventional DSLR cameras. It is said that “the early bird catches the worm”; so, there will be increasing opportunities for companies to generate intellectual property rights (IPR). IT vendors like HCL Technologies, can leverage their vast experience at the cloud server. Here, they can use their skills to mitigate the challenges related to storage space, data security, and complex infrastructure. They could also use their expertise to develop innovative applications that can manage, process, and analyze high volumes of data as generated through image sensors. Future Business Opportunities
  11. 11. ABOUT HCL Our propositions include: • Global deployment • Instance consolidation • Fundamental cost reduction • Target operating model transformation • Benefits delivery • Large program management • Applications development • Design, build and run services TRUE GLOBAL DELIVERY HCL operates as a single global organization, allowing us to deploy consulting teams that leverage proven industry and solution best practices from our offices and delivery centres around the world. With revenues of $6.5 billion, employing 100,000 technology experts and operating in 31 countries worldwide, HCL is a leading global technology services provider. HCL helps its clients transform their business and IT assets, deliver complex Digital Systems Integration programs and operate their application and infrastructure estates. HCL’s Digital Systems Integration business works with its clients to drive business outcomes through large IT program delivery. HCL employ 15,000 systems integration experts and are established partners with leading enterprise application providers—SAP, Oracle and Microsoft. Hello there! I am an Ideapreneur. I believe that sustainable business outcomes are driven by relationships nurtured through values like trust, transparency and flexibility. I respect the contract, but believe in going beyond through collaboration, applied innovation and new generation partnership models that put your interest above everything else. Right now 105,000Ideapreneurs are in a Relationship Beyond the Contract™ with 500 customers in 31 countries. How can I help you? TM