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Late May Status Update

Hi Everyone!

Here's what's been happening in the last two weeks:

SparkFun Distribution

The OpenMV Cam M7 is available for sale at SparkFun now! When the product went live last week over 200 OpenMV Cams were sold on their website. Not only that, but, folks cleaned out our store too.

You can still buy OpenMV Cam M7s from our distributors around the world but we're sold out of cameras (except for a small stock of cameras reserved for replacements).

Anyway, we're leveling up production to meet the demand. We've started manufacturing again to build 2500 OpenMV Cam M7s with MacroFab. We expect to have more cameras in stock by the start of August. Until then you can pre-order from our website.

Normally the lead-time for building the above amount of OpenMV Cams would be longer but we placed the order for 2.5K OV7725 chips and STM32F765VI chips (i.e. the long lead-time components) more than 2 months ago.

Faster FPS

So, the OV7725 supports faster image read outs when the resolution is set to anything equal to or below QVGA. This allows us to DOUBLE the FPS of the camera at resolutions equal to or below QVGA. This fix, along with pushing the camera's PLL a little more allow us to get some massive FPS bumps.

For those interested, the OV7725 camera basically generates a stream of images that are sent to the STM32F7 chip at 120 FPS for <= QVGA and 60 FPS for > QVGA. When snapshot() is called we wait and grab the next image in the stream of images and store that image in RAM. Since images are not stored in a FIFO you're always processing the latest image. However, this also means that if your code takes too long in your main loop you miss the next frame and have to wait for the next frame afterward. So, with a higher image readout speed your OpenMV Cam now spends less time waiting for new images which increases the FPS.

Anyway, so, how much of of a boost are we talking about (w/ FB disabled on the M7)?

  • Grayscale Color Tracking QVGA ->56 FPS
  • Grayscale Color Tracking QQVGA -> 85 FPS
  • RGB565 Color Tracking QVGA -> 56 FPS
  • RGB565 Color Tracking QQVGA -> 85 FPS

Woot! You can try out the firmware for the M7 here.

Obviously, the more complex the algorithm the less this speed boost will help - i.e. with AprilTags. But, for simple stuff like finding blobs and lines you should see a lot more speed.

Relocation

Finally, I've relocated to San Francisco from Atlanta! OpenMV LLC will still remain in a virtual PO box in Atlanta but I'm in the Bay Area now.

Best regards,

Kwabena

Line Detection

Hi Folks!

We've finally cleared our backlog of OpenMV Cam M7s to ship. Everyone who pre-ordered their OpenMV Cam should have received a tracking number and... hopefully by now it has been delivered! OpenMV Cam M7s are now in stock in our online store and you can order one to ship immediately today. Also, we've totally sold out of the OpenMV Cam M4 too!

Distributors

You can now buy the OpenMV Cam at a lot more places now! We're in SparkFun and Seeed Studio now!

New Features

You can now find lines at 30 FPS! Additionally, you can also find line segments at 15 FPS. See the video below:

We'll be releasing this new feature along with data matrix support soon! That said, you can try it out now here.

All OpenMV Cam M7's queued to ship!

Hi Everyone!

We're finally here - all OpenMV Cam M7's have been queued to ship! This means if you haven't yet gotten a tracking number for your order you will receive once next week.

Additionally, once all OpenMV Cam M7 orders have shipped we'll start selling OpenMV Cam M7s on the store without a pre-order wait. Yay!

Also, we've gotten a lot of distributor orders too. OpenMV Cam M7's are going to be in stock around the world!

New Features

Data Matrix decoding support is now built-in to your OpenMV Cam! Thanks to the Open Source C library libdmtx you can now read data matrix bar codes as easily as you can read qr codes with your OpenMV Cam M7. Checkout the video below:

Also, I took the time to make a video for barcode detection now too so that you can see how smoothly that works on the new OpenMV Cam M7:

By adding both data matrix decoding and barcode decoding to the OpenMV Cam M7 feature list we're now at almost parity with libzxing - the gold standard library for 1D/2D bar code detection. Here's a nice comparison chart:

ZXING Comparison

We're only missing Aztec and PDF 417 2D barcode decoding support now. That said, we're going to stop expanding on support for 1D/2D barcodes now as there are no free and open source C libraries that I know of for Aztec and PDF 417 barcode decoding. Anyway, we've got enough functionality built-in now that you should easily be able to use your OpenMV Cam to scan things without much effort.

And... that's all for this update.