Development of a Proof of Concept camera to validate the effectiveness and visual usefulness of fusing low resolution infrared thermal data with high resolution video from a standard CMOS sensor in a standalone IP camera.
The Proof Of Concept camera platform combines data from a low resolution (32x31) MEMS based thermopile imager with video from an HD resolution CMOS sensor to create detailed high resolution images or HD video streams. The thermal data (+/- 0.5 deg C) is used to create a thermal colour map which is overlayed directly on the video stream at the camera prior to H.264 compression and streaming. Background video can be monochromatic or colour and the thermal map scheme is user configurable.
Only recent advances in the development and manufacturing of MEMS based, thermopile imagers and focal plane arrays have made this type of camera possible. The benefits of this new technology is the cost effectiveness and temperature accuracy relative to the tradiitional bolometer based solutions which are substantially more expensive to manufacture. The tradeoff is resolution, which is overcome by the integration with highly optimized, consumer grade CMOS sensors
Advanced techniques to directly leverage the on-chip hardware acceleration of the i.MX6 processor to provide thermal & visible sensor interfaces, all video processing and H.264 compression/streaming to source an HD stream at 1080p30fps with virtually no hit to the CPU.
GPU's are used directly to generate, scale and blend all thermal data with video captured with CMOS sensor
All on screen display such as temperature legend and graphical / text based overlays are rendered using the OpenVG hardware to provide low CPU impact high quality graphics.
Options & Applications
The thermal data can be displayed to the user in various forms such as a heatmap (shown in clip below), topographical style overlay showing hot/cold regions with temp in text, or mouse over temp data. The platform is also capable of advanced supporting computer vision algotithms can be integrated to detect objects and report only their temperature.
Applications for the camera include: remote asset monitoring, non-destructive testing, automation, inspection and low light video surveillance