Notes from the field: emerging Edge AI market trends

2021 Edge AI market

The term Edge AI has slipped seamlessly into the high-tech marketing lexicon over the past couple of years thanks to the convergence of a number of trends. The most notable ones are the integration of cameras into just about every new electronics device and the development of increasingly sophisticated algorithms that give these devices the intelligence to recognize a person or object and issue a call to action whenever they are triggered by a particular image or type of behavior.

Facial recognition systems can, for example, tell a retailer when a VIP shopper or a known shoplifter has entered the store and issue the appropriate alert to staff. In-vehicle AI safety systems can let a driver know if someone is stepping too close to their forklift or truck so that they can take prompt action to avoid a nasty accident. The list of potential Edge AI applications and use cases is virtually unlimited.

Currently the Edge AI market is still in its early growth stage as vendors and customers alike familiarize themselves with the technology and carry out pilot projects to put it through its paces. But as they gain more experience and a deeper understanding of how the data and insights generated by Edge AI deployments can improve the efficiency and safety of their operations, the rate of growth is sure to accelerate.

One of the fastest-growing segments of the market is for in-vehicle AI safety systems that provide additional eyes for making the lives of drivers safer and easier by increasing their awareness of what’s going on around them and identifying potential safety threats. We are seeing a growing variety of applications and use cases emerging in this segment, ranging from AI dash cam driver monitoring systems to 360-degree surround view systems for heavy equipment like this one that we customized for our California-based customer EcoMulch.

Indeed, given the myriad uses Edge AI systems will be adopted for, rapid customization will be the key to accelerating growth across all segments of the market. Unlike the smart phone, there will be no single Edge AI device.

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