Computer Vision Greater Zurich Area

Computer vision

The Greater Zurich Area is one of the world's leading centers for computer vision - thanks to leading universities, top talent, a dynamic start-up scene, and global tech giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Huawei, Oracle and Disney doing research and development in the region.


Technology and its applications

Computer vision aims to teach machines how to see and understand the world, using computer-based methods that are oriented toward and exceed the capabilities of human vision. Also called machine vision, comprehension, or visual computing, such systems are primarily used today in industrial production processes (e.g., for quality assurance). Two major areas of application are discernible for the future:

  • Autonomous systems, i.e. enable machines to act independently and securely in a dynamic environment that is not completely controlled – for example, self-driving cars, mobile robots, or drones.

  • Spatial computing (sometimes also known as augmented or mixed reality), i.e. seamlessly integrate digital content with the physical world to augment human capabilities – for example, smart glasses (from Facebook, Google, Magic Leap, or Microsoft). Based on advances in retinal projection technology, the aim is to provide people with personal support in real-time, for example during surgical procedures, when furnishing the home or with virtual personal assistants for all possible life situations. In the future, these systems will be increasingly self-learning and even more adapted to ourselves than smartphones.

The ecosystem for computer vision in the Greater Zurich Area is perfect. It's easy to recruit talent here.
Portrait Marc Pollefeys
Marc Pollefeys - Professor of Computer Science at ETH Zurich, Head of Mixed Reality & AI Lab Zurich

Universities and research institutes

Universities and research institutes

ETH Zurich anchors the computer vision ecosystem with basic disciplines such as computer science, electronics, and mechanical engineering, as well as with institutes, laboratories, and research groups specializing in computer vision. In addition to teaching and fundamental scientific research, ETH Zurich also emphasizes the importance of applied research and collaboration with industry.

The University of Zurich’s international reputation also plays a significant role and applied research projects are conducted at a number of research centers in the Greater Zurich Area. Some examples include Wyss Zurich (jointly operated by ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich), Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW, Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK, HTW Chur, University of Applied Sciences of the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland SUPSI, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland FHNW, and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences HSLU. There are also private research institutes such as the new Microsoft Mixed Reality & AI Lab and the Disney Research Lab, headed by ETH Zurich professors.

Dynamic start-up scene

Dynamic start-up scene

Numerous start-up companies use computer vision in a wide variety of applications.

Here are just a few of the many examples: Aerotain (broadcasting drone); ANYbotics (mobile robots); Auterion (drone control); CatchEye/Perceptiko (video telephony); Fashwell ( recognition for e-commerce); Fotokite (camera drone); Heptagon (sensor technology, acquired by AMS); Inspacion (virtual design for a surgical space); Kooaba (cloud-based recognition, acquired by Qualcomm/Vuforia); Dacuda (real-time computer vision; acquired by Magic Leap); Nomoko (high-resolution cameras); Scandit (barcode scanner); SkyAware/zurichsense (navigation for robots and drones); Upicto (video recognition; acquired by Logitech); WayRay (navigation systems); Wingtra (drone data-mapping); and Zurich Eye (virtual reality, acquired by Facebook/Oculus).

Investors and incubators

Investors and incubators

Company founders now find a thriving climate in which to raise venture capital. An open network in which successful founders support and invest in the next generation of start-ups characterizes the Greater Zurich Area. Within this ecosystem, numerous incubators, accelerators, techno-parks and co-working spaces prosper. Get informed about why Greater Zurich is a leading innovation hub and reach out to our team for more in-depth information. 

Global tech giants

Almost all of the major players in the technology world conduct applied research in the Greater  Zurich Area, including in the areas of machine vision and learning: Google, Apple, Facebook, Magic Leap, Microsoft, IBM, Huawei, Oracle, Disney or graphics processor and chip manufacturer Nvidia. The same applies to established Swiss companies such as ABB, Leica Geosystems or Roche. Their value for the economic area through the creation of qualified jobs, cooperation with universities and industrial partners and the attraction for new companies and talents is priceless.

Related ecosystems

As a cross-sectional technology, computer vision also benefits from related technologies and applications: Information technologies in general, electrical engineering, sensor technology, extended and mixed reality, artificial intelligence, etc. Be it universities, talents, suppliers, investors, or incubators: related ecosystems enrich and strengthen each other.

We have established a center of excellence for computer vision & deep learning in Zurich because the location offers a unique combination of top talents, close collaboration between academia and industry and high quality of life.
Alexander Ilic
Alexander Ilic - General Manager Switzerland and Senior Director Software, Magic Leap

Information technology in the Greater Zurich Area

Information technology in the Greater Zurich Area

Where world-class technology meets Swiss reliability

The Greater Zurich Area is a leading location for information technologies in Europe - just ask global tech giants like Apple, Disney, Google, and IBM that have found success in the region. Companies that locate information technology operations in the Greater Zurich Area benefit from wide availability of skilled talent, opportunity for cooperative efforts with top universities and innovative start-ups, and a stable, business friendly atmosphere.

Contact us

Can we put you in touch with a peer company or research institute? Do you need any information regarding your strategic expansion to Switzerland's technology and business center? Give us a call or drop us a line. 

+41 44 254 59 59