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What are the Different Types of Image Processing Applications?

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  • Written By: Angela Farrer
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  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2016
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Different types of image processing applications include those used in the fields of medicine, digital art, meteorology, law enforcement and more. Doctors use radiology equipment built with image processing technology for the detection of health problems such as cancerous tumors and blockages in blood vessels. Graphic designers and animation artists use image processing to create illustrations and computer game characters. Meteorologists are able to detect and predict weather patterns through remote sensing technology that uses digital signal processing. Police detectives use digital photo processing technology that is designed to detect specific faces, which helps them in apprehending criminals.

X-ray technology has been around for decades in the healthcare field, and it has been improved through computer processing techniques that allow doctors to view clear and detailed images of internal body systems. Angiography is a specific application of image signal processing that renders highly contrasted images of a patient's blood vessels and any potentially dangerous clots or plaques within them. Image processing applications can also be found in computerized axial tomography (CAT) scans, which have improved the rates of early cancer detection and have thus increased patients' chances of recovery.

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Digital photo processing is one of the foundations of computerized graphic arts. Evolutions of dynamic, interactive websites have created a demand for more sophisticated illustrations and animations in order for these types of sites to stand out from the rest. Image processing applications are used in both realistic and non-realistic digital painting and drawing techniques. Artists and animators also use digital filtering to alter and enhance their creations, including rendering them in three dimensions (3D). Computer game design incorporates advanced animation methods to bring characters to life, and these games have become much more realistic than in the past because of improvements in graphics processing.

Image processing applications also have uses in areas of environmental science, particularly in monitoring and reporting weather patterns. Advancements in image processing have led to further developments in remote sensing, which uses satellites to record light spectrum and pressure changes that would not otherwise be visible to the human eye. This kind of signal processing can be used to create infrared images of storage systems as well as to track their movements over specific time periods.

The mug shots that have been traditionally used in law enforcement have been taken to a new level thanks to image processing. Face recognition technology is able to capture images of suspects through video surveillance and automatically match them to their mug shot images in an existing criminal database. Numbers of captured offenders have increased thanks to this image processing application.

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KoiwiGal
Post 3

@clintflint - Image processing has been around for a long time though. People have been faking photos and video since they existed, taking people from places they existed, or pasting fairies or Loch Ness monsters in where they never did.

I think it's good for people to be cynical and cautious about believing what they see. Image processing software advances doesn't really make a difference there.

clintflint
Post 2

@irontoenail - That's going to bring up some interesting questions about the ownership of images. There have already been notable cases where actors have sued companies, usually gaming companies, who have illegally used their digital image likeness in a game.

If the technology becomes cheap enough it might get to the point where people could no longer trust the news, because anything not seen with their own eyes could be fake. And celebrities might lease their likeness to be used in various franchises.

We're on the cusp of image processing technology as far as I'm concerned. We've got all this amazing computer technology and the generation that has grown up with it is just reaching the point where they will start to be truly innovative in the next few decades.

Image software is only one of the many advances we'll see, but it's a surprisingly scary one to contemplate.

irontoenail
Post 1

I can't help but wonder if a day will come when they will be able to combine the image processing of different technologies and create synthetic actors. I mean, I know that day will come and arguably is already here, but it still remains to be seen whether or not the movie industry will end up replacing traditional actors completely with CGI actors.

At the moment it probably wouldn't be that much more cost effective, since CGI is still quite expensive, and of course, they haven't yet been able to convincingly recreate the range of human emotions in a simulation. But with the way they can scan in human faces now I'm sure we aren't far away from people being unable to tell whether an actor is a person or a computer.

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