MVTec Halcon 12: Innovative and fast
18 Aug 2015
MVTec has introduced version 12 of their machine vision software suite Halcon. It utilizes AVX2, thus running significantly faster on state-of-the-art processors. Further speedup is achieved in HDevelop and HDevEngine where the execution of procedures has become considerably faster by utilizing a just-in-time compiler.
Halcon's comprehensive 3D vision features were further enhanced: With the new local deformable surfaced-based matching, bent or stretched objects like pretzels can be found reliably, thus expanding the possibilities of 3D vision applications. Furthermore, Halcon's surfaced-based 3D matching in version 12 has become more robust when processing noisy image data, e.g., from time-of-flight cameras.
Halcon's highly interactive programming environment (IDE) HDevelop has been enhanced with support of parallel programming and thus allows concurrency. For this, Halcon 12 now also supports event-based processing. As a special key feature for software developers, a new extension allows to inspect Halcon variables (tuples and iconic) directly within Visual Studio, thus easing debugging tasks tremendously.
The new Halcon release eases OCR applications with a new technology for automatic text reading. Characters of any size are found robustly, in most cases without the need to adjust parameters. The new technology has an impressive capability to distinguish characters from background texture even under challenging conditions, such as distorted characters.
Halcon 12 also contains many features for further improving the usability. One example is the camera calibration: By means of its new calibration plates, the improved camera calibration of Halcon 12 reaches the same accuracy by using considerably fewer images. Furthermore, it is no longer necessary that the new calibration plates are completely visible in the image.
The newest maintenance release 12.0.1 comes with significant improvements in bar code reading. For EAN/UPC bar code symbology, Halcon is more robust against blur and defocus. For 2/5 Interleaved bar codes, the reading rates in case of print growth, print loss, and overexposure have been increased. Furthermore, the robustness for all code types has been enhanced against interfering edges outside the bar code region.
In addition, Halcon's data code reader now supports the latest GS1 application identifiers and returns additional print quality grading parameters for QR Codes and Micro QR Codes. Further improvements regarding Halcon's usability include HDevelop's profiler as well as the Visual Studio plugin. Moreover, a new C# example program has been added which shows handling of several threads using visualization with drawing objects.
HALCON is a comprehensive standard software for machine vision with an integrated development environment (IDE) that serves all industries. It provides outstanding performance and a comprehensive support of multi-core platforms and special instructions sets like AVX2, as well as GPU acceleration.