December 9, 2008 - The Firefly MV line now offers a total of ten different combinations of form factor and interface that are designed to address a wide variety of applications in industrial and non-industrial imaging, such as object and gesture tracking, optical character recognition (OCR), augmented reality, and multitouch interface technology. The new USB 2.0 models use the same CMOS sensor as the existing IEEE 1394 (FireWire) versions, support 480 Mb/s data transfer rates, and can be connected to any computer system with hi-speed USB ports.
"One of our original goals when we first introduced the Firefly MV in 2006 was to offer a low-cost, easy-to-use OEM camera that could be used in both machine and computer vision applications," says Vladimir Tucakov, Director of Sales and Marketing at Point Grey Research. "Giving users the choice of an IEEE 1394 (FireWire) or USB 2.0 interface fits perfectly with that goal, and also allows us to address new OEM opportunities. The FireWire models, for example, are excellent for applications that require 400 Mb/s data rates and multiple synchronized cameras running on a single PC. The USB 2.0 models, on the other hand, are intended for single camera systems where the customer wants to simply plug the camera into a computer without connecting a separate FireWire interface card."
"The other key advantage of the Firefly MV has always been its unbeatable value," adds Tucakov. "With a price tag of just USD $199, it's possible to construct a complete vision system—PC, operating system, software, cables, and optics—for less than USD $600. We actually demonstrated a similar system, which included an ASUS Eee PC™ with Intel® Atom™ processor, Linux operating system, and OpenCV open-source vision software library, at VISION 2008 in Stuttgart."
The Firefly MV camera uses a 1/3" wide-VGA CMOS sensor with global shutter to deliver high quality 752(W) x 480(H) monochrome or raw Bayer color images at 60 FPS, and offers a 2x2 binning mode for frame rates up to 135 FPS. Configuration options include a choice of IEEE 1394 or hi-speed USB digital interface, board-level or housed form factor, and M12 microlens or C/CS lens mount. The USB 2.0 models are equipped with a CS-mount lens holder with removable glass/IR filter system and housed in a small and lightweight 44 x 24 x 34 mm plastic case. A board-level option, which is the same size as its FireWire counterpart at just 40 x 25 mm, is available for qualified OEM's. A 7-pin general purpose I/O connector can be used to synchronize the camera to external devices, such as an external trigger or light source, and its 5-pin Mini-B USB 2.0 connector enables the USB 2.0 cable (included in the Development Accessory Kit) to transfer both data and power.
Like all Point Grey cameras, the Firefly MV complies with the IIDC v1.31 specification. Existing Point Grey camera users will benefit from the seamless software integration that is available using the FlyCapture® Software Development Kit (SDK). The FlyCapture SDK is compatible with both FireWire and USB 2.0 cameras using the same API, and includes support for ActiveX, TWAIN and DirectShow.
The Firefly MV USB 2.0 camera, part number FMVU-03MTM/C-CS (mono/color), is priced at just USD $199 (5+ quantity) and is available now from Point Grey Research and its network of distributors.
About Point Grey Research, Inc.
Point Grey Research, Inc. is a worldwide leader in the development of advanced digital camera technology products for machine vision, industrial imaging, and computer vision applications. Based in Richmond, BC, Canada, Point Grey designs, manufactures and distributes IEEE-1394 (FireWire) and USB 2.0 cameras that are known for their excellent quality, performance, and ease of use. A broad range of hardware, software and mechanical engineering skills has allowed Point Grey to successfully bring many innovative and ground-breaking products to market. This drive for innovation has led to many industry firsts, including the first and smallest 1394b digital camera.
Since its founding in January of 1997, the company's approach to product pricing, quality control, and customer service has attracted thousands of customers worldwide, and its organic growth through product sales has enabled the company to expand significantly without any outside investment. Point Grey currently employs more than 70 people worldwide, and has a wholly-owned German subsidiary that provides sales and support services to customers in Europe, Africa and Israel. The company has also established a strong network of distributors in Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, and Taiwan.
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