What is object detection?

Object detection is the process of identifying real-world objects, like people, cars, bottles, or sandwiches, in still images or videos. To understand an entire scene, a viewer must detect, identify, and locate multiple objects simultaneously.

Object detection is commonly used in applications like image retrieval, security, surveillance, and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

There are several different approaches to performing object detection, including the following:

  • Feature-based object detection
  • Support Vector Machine (SVM) classification with Histogram of Oriented Gradient (HOG) feature descriptors
  • Deep learning object detection

This guide focuses on deep learning object detection with Arm NN SDK.

Real-world use cases for object detection use cases include the following:

  • Video surveillance

    Video surveillance is a natural application of object detection techniques. The ability to identify and track multiple instances of an object in a scene is a key requirement of video surveillance systems. Granular object tracking provides valuable insights that can assist, for example, crowd security, analysis of store traffic, or stock movement on the factory floors.

    The following image shows an example of object detection used in video surveillance:

  • Autonomous driving

    Autonomous vehicles use real-time obstacle detection models to identify cars, pedestrians, bicycles, and traffic signs. The vehicle uses this information to decide whether to accelerate, decelerate, or turn.

    The following image shows an example of real-time object detection used in an autonomous vehicle:

  • Medical imaging

    In health care, object detection assists doctors in diagnosis and treatment planning. For example, Arm ecosystem partner Darwin.ai developed COVID-Net, a deep neural network which examines chest X-rays to help medical professionals rapidly screen for COVID-19 infections.

    The following image shows an example of object detection in medical X-rays:

  • Manufacturing

    Object detection helps to fully automate manufacturing systems. Object detection has applications in many manufacturing processes, including quality assurance, inventory management, and assembly line sorting.

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