OpenCV AI Kit On Kickstarter
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 22 July 2020

To celebrate its 20th Anniversary OpenCV has announced its OpenCV AI Kit, affordable hardware and software for AI-powered Computer Vision, and initiated a Kickstarter Campaign.The funding goal of $20,000 was reached in just 20 minutes and with 50% off the hardware modules, the pledges are still flooding in. Deadline is August 13th.

It's a bit of a shock that OpenCV had been going for 20 years, but in fact it was  launched in 1999 as an Intel Research initiative to advance CPU-intensive applications as part of a series of projects including real-time ray tracing and 3D projected displays. And, as the Kickstarter video points out, the ideas of computer vision was the stuff dreams were made of. 

It is thanks to Open CV that computer vision has come so far in such a short time. As we stated in our report on OpenCV 3.0  five years ago:

Open CV has become the workhorse of day-to-day computer vision. Yes things have moved on to the point where computer vision can be a very ordinary task for programmers who aren't AI experts.

Now OpenCV is promising to deliver low-cost hardware that will allow hobbyists as well as researchers to include computer vision in their projects. According to Dr. Satya Mallick, the CEO of

"Smart machines of the future will require a combination of visual intelligence and depth perception to interact with the 3D world just like humans do... We have packaged these two features in one simple and affordable hardware system that students, researchers, programmers, and engineers can use to build powerful Spatial AI solutions."

The Kickstarter video introduces OAK (standing for OpenCV AI Kit) which it describes as a tiny, powerful, open source Spatial AI system:

There are two configurations of the hardware modules:

  • OAK-1 consists of a single RGB camera and has the powerful Intel® Myriad X™ VPU at its core. With a compute capability of 4 Trillion Operations Per Second (TOPS), this device can run modern neural networks on every video frame in real time performing tasks like image classification, object detection, image segmentation, and pose estimation.

  • OAK-D consists of a pair of stereo cameras for depth perception in addition to all the capabilities of OAK-1. The version promised during the Kickstarter campaign will also contain a built-in IMU (orientation sensor), making OAK-D a one-of-a-kind solution for Spatial AI at a jaw dropping price.

The Chief Architect of AOK, Brandon Gilles, explains:

"By adding depth perception to standard AI, we have added a new dimension to the solution space. We are motivated by AI used for social good. Our early prototypes have been used for creating assistive technology for the blind, helping bicyclists avoid reckless drivers, and solving many other problems for social good."

OpenCV is a veteran of Kickstarter campaigns. Last year we reported on its Kickstarter Campaign For AI Computer Vision Courses, which raised almost $500,000, a hundred times more than its initial target. So it comes as no surprise that this one is being so successful. Having reached its, admittedly modest, target t of $20,000 in just 20 minutes, it reached its first stretch goal of $100,000 in 5 hours, unlocking a new course series to introduce OAK, and its second, $250,00 after around 30 hours. The campaign is now approaching its third stretch goal - which will open the way to Power-Over-Internet:


Although all the early bird offers were snapped up within hours there is still up to 50% discount - an Oak -1 for $99 rather than $199 and an OAK-D for $149 rather than $299;

I'm giving the last word to OpenCV who give more good reasons for backing this Kickstarter: is committed to democratizing AI education and OAK is a step in that direction. The smart camera will come with an easy to use API, and every Kickstarter backer will receive free access to a course that will walk them through the process of creating and deploying an AI model on the device. 


More Information

OpenCV AI Kit Kickstarter 

Related Articles

Kickstarter Campaign For AI Computer Vision Courses 

OpenCV Hackathon 

OpenCV 4.0 Says Goodbye To C  

OpenCV 3.0 Released - Computer Vision For The Rest Of Us 

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 July 2020 )