MUNICH, GERMANY - The 2009 "GenICam & GigE Vision Technical Meeting" took place in Munich, Germany, April 21 to 24. The event with machine vision experts from the whole world was hosted by the Munich software manufacturer MVTec Software GmbH.

Twenty-six participants from 17 companies and organizations came to Munich to push the progress of the industry standards GenICam and GigE Vision. The aim of these standards is to clearly ease and unify the image acquisition as well as the configuration of industry cameras. "This is highly desirable for users as well as manufacturers," says Christoph Zierl, MVTec’s product manager and organizer of the meeting.

So far, any camera manufacturer provided an own proprietary programming interface for parameterization and image acquisition. However, the GenICam standard enables to control the complete functionality of any camera via a common generic programming interface. Meanwhile, this standard has become very popular, because it is mandatory for all cameras and applications which are compatible to the established GigE Vision standard.

The GenICam GenTL standard even goes one step further: This standard defines a software interface between a "GenICam GenTL Producer" and a "GenICam GenTL Consumer". Therewith, any camera may be chosen for machine vision applications without the need of programming some specific adaptation. Here, it doesn't matter whether the camera is connected via Gigabit Ethernet, USB, IEEE 1394, or Camera Link. Thereby, the comprehensive "GenICam Standard Feature Naming Convention" cares for a unique naming of the available camera parameters.

Primarily, the publication of the GenICam modules 1.2 and GenTL 1.1 (planned in autumn 2009) was discussed during the meeting. The GigE Vision standard will be expanded in such a way that also non-streaming devices can be addressed by this protocol.

All in all, the participants agreed that the standardization of image acquisition interfaces and protocols means a considerable added value, as no proprietary connections have to be developed and maintained any more.