Camera Design Service Vendors Gearing Up for a New Phase With New Standards

Not many companies are well versed with camera designs and their tweaks and hence few players are moving towards custom development of board cameras and smart vision sensors based on different processors. Also with the advent of several cameras and camera architectures, companies now have a strong base to build new products.

Some companies can design cameras to customer requirements in short timelines too.

The Challenges

Companies usually face the challenge of meeting hardware and software design specifications of the camera.

High definition images might have to be clicked at regular intervals, sometimes in a fraction of a second! Some companies now opt for drones that would house several cameras, and then try to stitch and synchronise the images simultaneously, so that the shots can be taken from all possible angles.

Also the core challenge here is to reduce the camera size since the product needs to be a marketable product that also needs to be considerably affordable.

For such a camera design, companies strike a balance with its hardware design, PCB design, Bootloader porting, and the efforts expended on Device drive modification, Camera app development and Testing procedures.

The need for integrated camera solutions

Integrated camera solutions with small, lightweight, and inexpensive 5 Megapixel camera with an adequate CMOS sensor is in great demand in the market. These solutions include the snapshot mode and the continuous mode at various resolutions. The MiniSD card works for local storage for such cameras.

The solution also includes an external trigger for Camera synchronization, instinctive photo captures, and the like.

Such companies offer independent camera design offerings including

• Prototype development
• Complete board design and Mechanical design
• uBoot and Kernel changes
• Porting on new hardware
• Production support
• CMOS and CCD sensor integration
• Monochrome, Color, and near IR development
• Embedded processor development including FPGA and ARM processors
• Standard/ Custom mounting options
• Robust enclosures suitable for industrial camera use
• Integrated LED lighting

Types of Cameras for Different Applications

• 3 megapixel Cameras with color and monochrome sensors
• 2K Line Scan Camera compliant with DCAM standard
• VGA cameras with onboard DSP
• Line-scan sensor integrated with DSP
• A PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) High Definition 720p or 1080p 30fps conferencing camera with autofocus
• Linescan camera setup with onboard image processing
Custom cameras are developed for integrate the required sensor, optics or mounts. These cameras also include autofocus feature, lighting setup, enclosure material based on the environment, ruggedness to shocks and vibrations, and adherence to several safety and regulatory compliances.

Benefits offered by integrated cameras and their design proposed by the best vendors

• Reduced time for development: The company’s experience in designing imaging products and solutions is crucial and hence becomes the differentiating factor in the faster process execution of design and building cameras.

• Reduced cost: The platform based development model reduces the cost of development of camera products considerably. Nowadays offshore companies can even lower the cost of development especially if they are developed from scratch.

• Application Support: Support at the application level is crucial especially in context with image processing algorithm development. Years of expertise and experience in imaging and image processing boil down to the efficiency rendered during support. Also a company with resources who have previous system integration experience would relate with customer needs and pain points too.

• Integrated Solutions: Companies who are certified for CE, FCC, and UL will always strive to get the prototype ready based on the design in terms of ingress, temperature, and other specifications.

A graduate in technology, Toya Peterson is an avid blogger who is always interested in the recent fads and trends related to wearables, IoT and embedded technologies. A mother of two, she aspires to be a photo-blogger soon as she is honing up her skills in photography. In her leisure time, she loves to go hiking with her friends.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9465635

Tips for Successful Project Delivery: Customer Engagement, Respect and Communication

What if a professional athlete set a standard where winning was not enough? Instead, they had to achieve a personal best or break a previous record year after year.

What if a new theme park opened on schedule, with no delays, and offered tickets to the first one million visitors to return at any time and bring up to 100 guests at no additional charge?

Welcome to my world. As an IT provider, I face the similar challenge: that is, delivering a project experience to customers that will not only achieve all project goals, but also blow them away.

I have delivered on hundreds of projects for customers in my career and I have seen projects go smoothly and poorly. I have seen projects end with both the customer and the provider feeling a sense of accomplishment, and I have seen projects drag on for months, even years and then dwindle out almost as if customer and provider conceded defeat for any of the following reasons:

  • lofty project goals
  • misjudged budgets
  • technology that couldn’t be wrangled in

Sound familiar to anyone? These are some of the reasons why PMI (pmi.org) reports that 89 percent of projects at high-performing organizations meet their original goals and business intent, compared with just 36 percent at low-performing organizations.

The Cost of Poor Performance

Those low-performing organizations also lose 12 times more money than high-performers.

My customers include professionals in all aspects of IT service delivery. Their business and IT needs are great because so much depends on the success of these projects-their budgets, their revenue goals, their own staffing decisions, their perceptions to upper management, and the perceptions of other customers.

But what many people don’t realize is the poorly performing projects hurt both customers and providers equally. Obviously the customer is frustrated and perhaps feels slighted in what they are getting versus what they are paying for. These kinds of projects severely impact the provider as well. The provider’s number one priority is to deliver on the scope of the project to the customer. That has to be the most important principle for a provider, held above all else, because a project that ends with an unsatisfied customer is a complete waste of everyone’s time. However, a very close second priority is delivering a project quickly and efficiently, even when there is no time pressure from the customer.

Long-running projects incur overhead in several forms. As projects run late, the provider may now have more concurrent active projects. Their engineers have to split their time and attention between two or more projects which can result in lower quality. The longer the project goes on, the more disconnected the team can become, momentum slips, and decisions made early on can start to be questioned. Changes in direction often delay the project even longer and more meetings are likely to occur. For a typical small project with just five resources, a two-month delay can easily incur 50 hours of additional time.

I have found that successful projects that avoid these pitfalls and end in mutual accomplishment always require both parties to be fully engaged and invested. Since the nature of project delivery is a client/merchant one, it is up to us as IT service providers to ensure that engagement happens and to drive mutual investment in the outcome.

Customer Engagement

First, let me expand on the benefits of customer’s remaining actively invested in their projects. When a customer signs a statement of work (SOW) for a project, they agree to pay some amount to have work done. Whenever money changes hands like this, a sense of entitlement on the customer’s part can sometimes emerge that often goes like this: “I did my part by paying you, now you go deliver on what I paid for”.

I want to be clear and say this is perfectly understandable and not completely unreasonable. However, as providers striving to fully deliver on customer needs and goals, we need the customer to remain engaged and part of the process. I call it everyone in the boat and the metaphor is interesting to me because you can think of it as the project team bringing the customer to the goals rather than bringing the goals to the customer. In the boat, the provider is the captain and crew of a private cruise liner and the customer is the pampered passenger with input on where the yacht goes.

In the end, however you conceptualize it, a customer that is engaged in a project is less likely to be critical of decisions made about direction and design and more likely to feel some ownership in the outcome. A customer who is part of the process is less likely to criticize than one who remains distant as an observer. In my experience, projects with high customer involvement always end smoothly with a sense of mutual accomplishment. They often build lasting business relationships between provider and customer.

Let’s examine some tactics to improve customer engagement and buy-in. The following two main methods get customers engaged in projects, help keep them engaged, and improve efficiency as you work.

Method 1: Build Trust and Respect Between Project Team and Customer at the Start

Building mutual respect is a key to smooth projects. Mutual respect means that decisions can be made about the project constructively and without dissent. There are several aspects to building a relationship based on mutual trust and respect.

First Impressions: The old cliché is true; there’s only one chance at a first impression. Moreover, a good first impression only lasts as long as you live up to it. The minute you falter, the good first impression is gone, so it is critical that you stay consistent in your positive interactions. Do your homework and make sure all project team members know the project inside and out and are ready to speak authoritatively on their parts before engaging the customer’s team.

Mutual Decision Making: Next opportunity for building trust and respect is the experience you bring the customer in mutual decision making. As the provider, it’s important to take the time to lead them through the decision process. Where there are no customer opinions, backfill with yours. When a customer has a strong opinion on a topic try to yield to their desires. When the customer desires are not aligned with your agenda (best practices or efficient execution) then you must engage them in dialogue. That dialogue must always be grounded in respect for the customer’s point of view and focused on a mutually beneficial resolution focused on the goal not the execution (the what, and not the how).

Respect for Time: While keeping the customer involved, we never want to waste their time. Guide them to focus their attention on the important parts of the project and not the mundane details. Customer’s should be engaged in decisions about whether or not to do something but not necessarily about how exactly to do that thing. Customer’s should be appraised of the how, but in more of a review format to build buy-in for execution.

Execution: One sure-fire way to lose respect of the customer is to fail to execute. Always do what you say will you do, when you say you will do it. As mentioned above, mess this up once and you’ve lost the game. For that reason, it is very important that you are realistic about what you say you will do and when you will do it. Set yourself up for this, you are in control of the expectation and the execution. If you have a perfect track record of execution, the customer won’t have a reason to question your plan.

Method 2: Communication

The what, when, and how of communication can really make a difference in projects. Separate customers will react in different ways to your communication methods. For example, one might prefer a regular status update in e-mail while another one expects to view a milestone report with a summary of weekly achievements.

Goals: The very first communication engagement should be about establishing project goals. This may or may not be adequately defined in the presales process so it’s the first opportunity to interact. If the goals have already been adequately defined, then the provider’s role here is to articulate these goals back to the customer to make sure customer and provider share the same vision of the goals. If they are not the same vision, or the goals have not been adequately defined, this engagement is the first opportunity for customer and provider to collaborate and build mutual trust/respect.

Level of Detail: Meaningful ongoing communication should be tailored to the individual customer. There is no right way to go about it. Too much can be a turnoff for customers and will result in them disconnecting, too little and they’re wondering if you’re making any progress at all. I personally like the more frequent informal contact with periodic formal updates. Keeping with respecting the customers time concept, the updates must be meaningful and relate back to their business needs, not related to gory details of execution. Consider a daily dashboard with a series of weekly reports.

Creativity vs. Execution:

Good project delivery creates a line between creativity (design) and execution (plan). Customers lose faith if you are months into a project and need to redesign some work item every week. Attempt to get all design details done and communicate about those design decisions up front. As a provider, walk through the whole execution conceptually and figure out all the questions that need answering first. Engage the customer in a high-level walkthrough of the project and derive answer to those questions. During the design stage, gather information and understanding from sessions with the customer but organize the designs into work plans away from them to save time (yours and theirs). Present and review for final approval. Once you both agree on all design elements, close the design discussion, and begin executing to a plan/timeline. For large projects, break this cycle up into chunks if appropriate.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9460513

Cloud Computing!

shutterstock_1139108621Cloud computing has revolutionized the way technology is used to share information and resources to achieve coherence, relevance and economy of scale. These three factors are hugely important today when individuals and businesses require being in the forefront of their activities and achieving profits and revenues while reigning in expenditure.

This kind of computing is the method or model of internet-based computing that provides on demand, processing capabilities as well as data to computers and other devices on a network through a shared pool of resources such as applications and services, networks, servers and storage devices, which can be requested and used with minimal effort. Cloud computing enables businesses and users with capabilities to store and process vital data in third-party data centers.

In simple terms, cloud computing means the storing and accessing of information and applications over the internet instead of leaving them on local hard drives or in-house servers. The information accessed is not ‘physically close’ and the metaphor ‘cloud’ relates back to the days of flowcharts, graphs and presentations where the server infrastructure was depicted as a ‘puffy, white cumulus cloud’ that stores and doles out information.

Cloud computing or ‘the cloud’ as it is commonly known enables a ‘pay as you go model’. The availability of low-cost computers and devices, high-capacity networks and storage devices as well as complementing factors like service-oriented architecture, adoption of hardware visualization and utility computing have contributed to the success of cloud computing in a very big way.

Cloud Computing Architecture

The five specific factors that define cloud computing are:

• Broad network access
• On-demand self service
• Resource pooling
• Measured service
• Rapid elasticity or expansion

Broadly, that sums the essence of this kind of computing. However, there are several loosely coupled components and sub-components that are essential to make computing work. These are divided into two sections – the front end and the back end which connect to each other via the Internet.

The Front End is the physically visible interfaces that clients encounter when using their web-enabled devices. Not all computing systems use the same interfaces.

The Back End comprises all the resources that deliver cloud computing services. These are essentially virtual machines, data storage facilities, security mechanisms etc. that together provide a deployment model and are responsible for providing the ‘cloud’ part of the computing service.

Benefits

Exponents of computing are quick to praise it citing the many advantages and benefits it provides. Among the many benefits, the prime ones are:

• Enables scale up and scale down of computing needs
• Enables businesses to avoid infrastructure costs
• Allows companies to get applications running quicker and faster
• Improves manageability and adjustability of IT resources to meet fluctuating business demands
• Reduces maintenance

The high demand for cloud computing is further enhanced by the advantages of cheap service costs, high computing power, higher performance and scalability and easier accessibility and availability.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9476669

Choosing the Right IT Support Vendor

Signing on the dotted line with an IT services and support provider can be a challenging proposition. With a lot of big market players making their presence felt and various critical factors to size up for making a well-thought-out decision, settling for a right provider may eat up more time and efforts than expected. Moreover, no company would let the deal break the bank. Although the situation may not seem as grim as you walking a tightrope, you must exercise ample caution before contracting out IT services to a vendor.

Draw out the Benefits of IT Support Services

With the competition among the industry rivals going through the roof, it is important that you do not falter on technological grounds. As a result, sound IT infrastructure should be high on the agenda. To ensure that all your information technology needs are duly met, make it a point to find a trusted and professional IT solutions provider. Serving the organizations of all magnitude, ranging from small-scale to large-scale, an information technology consultant firm focuses on combining technological innovations with business practices and thereby ensuring seamless day-to-day operations. This, in turn, propels the growth of the business.

Leap at What Serves the Purpose

Although an IT firm may cover a broad spectrum of technology solutions, you may go in for stripped-down features which fit in with your business needs and suit your pocket. Some of the fundamental IT services are:

  • Software and Hardware installation, maintenance, and regular upgrades.
  • Computer, Network, and Server Analysis: Tracking down potential threats and addressing them for the optimized performance.
  • Patch Management: This ensures that your systems operate with the latest critical security patches.
  • Proactive Support: Offsite monitoring of critical systems to ensure maximum uptime and productivity.
  • Remote Office Access: Allowing the authorized users access to secured files and e-mails.
  • Round-the-clock Technical Assistance
  • Virus and Spyware Protection and Removal
  • Prompt response to technical glitches

With such a wide array of IT solutions, you are rest assured that your business will progress ahead by leaps and bounds. Above all, it will take the information technology loads off your shoulders and will let you focus and build on your core strengths and competencies. It will, ultimately, leave you with the bang for your bucks.

On the conclusive note, it is worth mentioning that information technology serves as a backbone of any business entity. As a result, it is important that you have everything covered on the technological front.

This article equips the readers with the various facets of IT support and the need to align your business with a professional and trusted IT vendor.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9475757