Swarovski's AI Binoculars: Crystal Clear Vision
The rapid approach of artificial intelligence towards mainstream adoption continues to astonish, with its application in fields like optics breaking new ground. What could possibly link the iconic Swarovski jewelry brand with a pair of binoculars equipped with cutting-edge technical features?
This development isn't about Swarovski's signature crystals, but rather lenses and glasses crafted by the iconic brand. Swarovski Optik, a subsidiary of Swarovski AG, is making waves with the launch of the world’s first AI-powered binoculars. These binoculars come with fairly standard specs: 10x magnification and 32 mm diameter lenses (37 in total).
However, the AI core of the AX Visio (the model name for these Swarovski binoculars) boasts a comprehensive database of birds, mammals, and flying insects. Ornithologists, both professional and amateur, have so far derived the most benefit from the AX Visio. Identifying a small bird in mid-flight using traditional binoculars is a challenge, often verging on the impossible. With numerous bird species sharing similar sizes and colors, accurate identification becomes a daunting task.
Innovative AI Tech from Swarovski Source: Swarovski Optik
Artificial intelligence steps in to tackle this challenge. The AX Visio employs AI to filter and stabilize the erratic movement of birds in flight, standardize their images, and match them against its extensive database. The manufacturers assure that the AI can successfully identify a bird based on minimally observable characteristics.
For birdwatchers, capturing the bird within the binoculars' focus — a 'popping-up' circular grid divided into four segments — and waiting for the species name to appear is all it takes. The more accurately the bird's silhouette is framed within the grid, the better the AI performs. The focus boundary line's thickness is also crucial, with a thicker line indicating superior image quality and more precise AI identification.
The AX Visio's autofocus then kicks in, autonomously tracking the bird (through an in-built targeting feature) and capturing images or video. These observations can be easily shared, thanks to the binoculars' ability to connect wirelessly with compatible devices for data transfer.
Regarding the optics, Swarovski lenses are crafted from synthetic crystal, not glass. Made from over 70 chemical components, the majority of which are closely guarded secrets, these lenses are known for their approximately 50 layers of color-altering coatings. Swarovski has strategically chosen not to patent its lens technology to keep its manufacturing process confidential.
While bird observation is a prime example due to the complexity of tracking these fast-moving creatures, the Swarovski binoculars are versatile enough to observe, identify, and classify a wide range of objects.
If you have a database on wildflowers or mushrooms or stars or whatever, we can train the system to identify them. The idea is absolutely for developers to be able to contribute to this,explains Ben Lizdas, Swarovski Optik’s business development manager.