EMVA & Khronos Announce Camera API Working Group

By Joel Davies -

The European Machine Vision Association (EMVA) has announced the formation of a new Working Group together with the Khronos Group, to develop an open, royalty-free API standard for controlling camera system runtimes in embedded, mobile, industrial, XR, automotive, and scientific markets.

The Working Group will be hosted by the Khronos Group and is the result of an EMVA/Khronos-hosted Exploratory Group, held in 2021, during which over 70 companies participated to develop a Scope of Work document that will guide the direction of the API design.

“The close and productive collaboration between the EMVA and Khronos has been very effective in enabling broader industry participation and diversity of perspectives at the Embedded Camera Exploratory Group than either organization could have achieved working alone”, said Chris Yates, EMVA president. “EMVA will continue our collaboration with Khronos under a new liaison agreement to ensure that the interests of both the EMVA membership and the wider industry are represented at the new Camera API working group”.

The two organisations have formed the Working Group to tackle the issue of a lack of interoperable camera API standards that they see as increasing application development time and maintenance costs whilst reducing portability and opportunity for code reuse, resulting in “unnecessarily high integration costs for camera technologies”.

The new Camera API will be designed to provide applications, libraries and frameworks low-level, explicit control over camera runtimes, with a low-level of abstraction that still provides application portability over a wide variety of camera systems with effective, performant control to generate streams of data for consumption by downstream applications and clients.

“The Embedded Camera API Exploratory Group followed the Khronos New Initiative Process with invaluable cooperation from the EMVA. Over seventy companies worked together from March to December 2021 to forge strong industry consensus on the need, terminology, scope, requirements and design methodology for a new open standard camera system API”, said Neil Trevett, Khronos president. “Now, we warmly invite any interested companies, vendors and developers to bring their voice and their expertise to the design phase of this important work”.

The Camera API Working Group will start meetings in February 2022 and is expected to be of particular interest to sensor or camera manufacturers, silicon vendors, and software developers working on vision and sensor processing. Any organization is welcome to join Khronos and participate in this global initiative under the consortium’s multi-company governance process.

You can find more information about the new camera API Working Group from the EMVA and Khronos on the organisations’ websites.

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