Chipmakers such as Intel Corp. (INTC), Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) and Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) are on the cusp of fueling a new wave of revenue growth by providing cameras with enhanced capabilities for recognizing and interpreting data, according to The Wall Street Journal. This technology could, for example, help make living spaces and mobile devices more secure by leveraging facial recognition. (For more, see also: Artificial Intelligence Will Add $15.7 Trillion to the Global Economy: PwC.)

Strong Growth Potential

Over the next several years, the market for computer-vision systems is expected to surge, according to predictions made by International Data Corp. (IDC) and reported on by The Journal. By 2021, this market is expected to be worth $2.6 billion, compared to approximately $1 billion in 2016, according to IDC. "These [applications] are edging into viability," said Michael Palma, research director for IDC. "Maybe not mass viability, but very, very close." 

Intel and NVIDIA, which are both up year-to-date (YTD), could enjoy further gains. While Intel had risen nearly 9% YTD at the time of report, NVIDIA had surged more than 75%, according to Google Finance data. While Qualcomm was down more than 17% for the year at the time of report, it could pare these losses, or even move into the black. 

Widespread Applications

Computer-vision technology has already provided several promising applications, the Journal reported. The iPhone X, for example, could provide enhanced security for its users by refusing to unlock without first recognizing the face of its owner. While this example might sound impressive, Blue River Technology, which was recently sold to Deere & Company (DE) for more than $300 million, has been using artificial intelligence (AI) to help lettuce farmers realize higher productivity. 

Willy Pell, director of new technology for Blue River, has predicted that a new generation of machines that have been enhanced by AI will play a key role in Silicon Valley investment, according to the Journal. "There's a lot of humanity that's simply using eyes and hands to do things," he stated. Soon, machines will be in a position to fulfill a wide range of repetitive tasks, added Pell. (For more, see also: Intel Has Invested Over $1B in AI Startups.

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