Today I want to talk to you about OpenCV. Usually, those who work or study in the field of Computer Vision know it.
So in this article, I’m going to tell you why it’s so well known by Computer Vision experts, what OpenCV is and how it’s used in the field.
Okay but before we go any further, let’s understand what Computer Vision is.
What is Computer Vision?
Computer Vision is a field of Artificial Intelligence that uses hardware and software, such as cameras and video cameras to recognize objects and identify them, but not only. In fact, the CV is that discipline that is useful to the various companies that deal with Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.
Now, I don’t want to go into more detail because I’ve made a special article to explain what it is and how this fantastic discipline works.
You can read this article here!
I have briefly explained what Computer Vision is I can start with this article where we are going to see what OpenCV is.
What is OpenCV?
OpenCV is a software library used by people working in the field of Computer Vision.
OpenCV is open source and was created in Russia by Intel and later maintained and updated by Willow Garage.
The programming language with which this library was built in C++. To date, in fact, its most common use is with that language and not only.
OpenCV has also been adapted to work with a high-level programming language such as Python and others that we will see later.
…what is OpenCV for?
As I mentioned before, this open-source library is used to make predictions in real-time thanks to Computer Vision algorithms.
We can say that this software allows you to test your algorithm, how?
With OpenCV, you can open the camera of your computer and test your algorithm in real-time to see how efficient it is.
An example is a work I’ve done on sign language recognition (here is the link to the article), thanks to OpenCV I was able to identify the symbols of the hands from the camera of my PC.
How does it work?
To understand how OpenCV works there are various completely free courses you can take to learn how this open-source library works.
But generally speaking, before you can use it, you need to install it on your PC. Again, you have several installation methods, one of which is through your terminal or your preferred environment manager.
I’ll leave you the links to download OpenCV here.
After installing OpenCV you can start using it.
Be careful though: OpenCV allows you to integrate your prediction algorithm with hardware systems such as cameras, not to make predictions without a model and some code behind.
It’s not magic. 😂
Why is it important to know OpenCV?
If you know Computer Vision, if you want to work with it, or if you want to leverage it to build your own project, it’s important to know OpenCV because it will allow you to build a real, practical application of your algorithm.
You can test your algorithm, you can create a demo that you can use to demonstrate what your algorithm does in real-time, then analyze live what it was created for.
I, unfortunately, did not know this software at the beginning and my ignorance did not allow me to make the most of what I had built with my own hands, from the beginning.
OpenCV, besides being fascinating for this kind of thing, is also a basic skill required for those who want to work in the field of Computer Vision.
If you want to learn such a library there are several tutorials. One of the ones that I have also followed for free, and that I recommend if you want to use it with Python, is the following:
As I mentioned earlier, Python is not the only programming language you can use this library with, there are others as well.
OpenCV Programming Languages
OpenCV was made with the C++ language, which is perfect if you want to learn this library and you know this programming language.
One of the coolest aspects of OpenCV is its flexibility of use because it can be used with several programming languages.
In fact, you can also use it with Python (as I already told you), Java, and MATLAB/OCTAVE.
You are free to learn it with any language you want, but if your goal is really the application of your algorithm, my advice is to learn it with C++ or Python, being these two the most used languages in the Computer Vision field.
Was it interesting?
Its versatility and ease of use make it a very unique tool.
Later on, maybe I will do more detailed articles about this library. In the meantime let me know if you liked this article and if you understood the usefulness of OpenCV.
See you next article,