The Greater Zurich Area is one of the world's leading centers for computer vision - thanks to leading universities, top talents, a dynamic start-up scene and global tech giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Huawei, Oracle and Disney.
Technology and its applications
Computer vision aims to teach machines how to see and understand the world, using computer-based methods that are oriented towards 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. At present, the whole area is in an early stage; in the future, these systems will be increasingly self-learning and even more adapted to ourselves than smartphones
Global tech giants
Almost all of the major players in the technology world conducted 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.
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.