Vision Components’ new Q-Board turns basic IP cameras into smart ALPR systems


German camera and embedded vision systems developer Vision Components (VC) has introduced the new Q-Board ‘System on a Module’ (SOM) that allows the quick and easy conversion of existing IP (Internet Protocol) cameras into intelligent ALPR systems.

Vision Components provides embedded vision solutions, starting with the basic component, the board camera, up to fully integrated systems with customer-specific modified lighting and optics. The company’s new Q-Board is a compact unit with a size of 1.5 x 2in (4 x 5cm), and is based on the ARMTM Dual Core processor ZYNQ with 2x866MHz and the Carrida software engine. The Carrida engine is an ALPR (automatic license plate recognition) library that reliably identifies even dirty, damaged or skewed license plates with a recognition accuracy of more than 96%. Once the camera and board are connected via a switch, Carrida automatically receives the video stream and the Q-Board directly processes the incoming data. Users therefore receive an easy-to-integrate hardware component with ready-to-use functions that offers a comfortable option to upgrade existing basic camera systems.

The new VC Q-Board ‘System on a Module’ can be used flexibly for any application, even without sensors. Equipped with various standard interfaces, the Q-Board ensures easy and fast communication. Already installed IP camera systems can be converted into smart ALPR systems through the integrated freely programmable SoC (System on a Chip) from Xilinx. Due to the FFmpeg library integrated on the software side, streaming is now supported, which ensures a convenient connection to any data network, with almost all common IP streaming protocols, video codecs and container formats supported. The Q-Board is able to convert any existing IP surveillance camera into a smart ALPR unit for use in parking, ITS, red-light enforcement, vehicle access, tolling or traffic monitoring applications.

“Q-Board is a novelty for us, as it is our first product that is not a complete smart camera, but a circuit board that can turn standard cameras into intelligent cameras,” explained Jan-Erik Schmitt, vice president of sales at Vision Components. “It can be connected to any conventional IP camera and now supports streaming thanks to the recently integrated FFmpeg library. This enables a comfortable and easy integration into a user’s own data network.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).