4 industries that are actively hiring image processing specialists
The image processing industry has been growing at a steady pace, with rising demand from industries such as healthcare, military, agriculture, and the environment, among others. As an image processing engineer, your options are limitless
Image Processing or Computer Vision is one of the emerging technologies and a driving force behind the Industry 4.0 revolution. As the name implies, Image Processing is a method that involves conducting various operations on an image to enhance it or collect useful information from it. Computer Vision is the superset of Image Processing. A computer vision system performs emulation of vision at a human scale using image processing algorithms. Image processing can be classified into two categories– analog and digital. Analog image processing is used for hard copies or printouts of images. Image analysts use various visual techniques to interpret the raw data. In digital image processing, computer algorithms help manipulate digital images. Image processing primarily involves three crucial steps – importing the image, analyzing and manipulating the image, and the final output of the modified image based on analysis.
There are five main purposes of image processing —
- Visualization, where the aim is to identify occluded objects
- Image sharpening and restoration to create a finer image
- Image retrieval
- Image recognition
- Measuring various objects in an image
The image processing industry has been growing at a steady pace, with rising demand from industries such as healthcare, military, agriculture, and environment, among others. Some of the significant areas of applications include computer vision face detection, forecasting, remote sensing, feature extraction, optical sorting, and medical image processing.
As an image processing engineer, you can play a crucial role in a wide range of industries. Depending on your interests and skill-set, you can pick the industry that you would like to work in.
Below are some of the top options for an aspiring image processing engineer:
Medical imaging is one of the growth drivers of the image processing industry due to its role in the early detection of diseases. In the current Covid-19 situation, image processing is widely used in the medical field like detection of Covid through chest X-Ray images, detection of fever and other symptoms through face image analysis, etc. Medical imaging is a crucial component in the clinical evaluation of patients suffering from cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, and cancer, among other conditions. The 3D images created with image processing solutions play a critical role in helping doctors perform surgeries. If you have a keen interest in medical science, this can be your calling.
Defense and Security:
Image processing is widely used for defense and security in various applications such as target tracking and detection, secret messages transmission, missile guidance, etc. It is also used in the area of forensics. Face detection and recognition is another application in the field of security where image processing is playing a significant role. It detects and identifies faces by analyzing and matching integral facial features and expressions. Face recognition today is being used for various purposes such as attendance, surveillance, preventing crimes, finding missing people, recognizing people for e-passports, mask detection, etc. It’s a technology that is working towards making our world safer and smarter.
In the food industry, image processing systems enable quality assessment, grading, and sorting of different varieties of food items. In the factories, image processing systems can help sort fresh vegetables from rotten ones by inspecting the color, size, shape, and blemishes. The implementation of image processing techniques in this industry is growing at a steady pace especially with the rise of market demand for better products.
In agriculture, image processing solutions help monitor the growth of a crop right from planting to harvest. It also helps in disease detection, nutrient deficiencies detection, weed detection, and fruit grading. If you are interested in making agriculture smarter and more sustainable in the future, this can be the right fit for you.
The goal of robotics is to design machines that can assist humans. Image processing helps to increase the vision of the machines or robots. As you can see, robots are widely used in the current situation in various ways like for sanitization purposes, taking care of the patients due to social distancing, logistics robots for the delivery of food and other essentials, etc. The employment of image processing techniques in this field is increasing rapidly. If you want to play with machines as an image processing engineer, this can be a fit for you.
These are just some of the sectors that are extensively using image processing solutions. In the Industry 4.0 era, where automation will be driving change, almost every industry will utilize image processing techniques to turn digital data into useful information. As an image processing engineer, your options are limitless, and your future is bright. If you have the passion, with accurate training and practice, even you can have a great career in the field of Image Processing or Computer Vision.
(The writer is a Assistant Professor, UPES School of Computer Science)