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|Original author(s)||Intel Corporation, Willow Garage, Itseez|
|Initial release||June 2000|
3.4.2 / 4 July 2018
OpenCV (Open Source Computer Vision) is a library of programming functions mainly aimed at real-time computer vision. Originally developed by Intel, it was later supported by Willow Garage then Itseez (which was later acquired by Intel). The library is cross-platform and free for use under the open-source BSD license.
Officially launched in 1999, the OpenCV project was initially an Intel Research initiative to advance CPU-intensive applications, part of a series of projects including real-time ray tracing and 3D display walls. The main contributors to the project included a number of optimization experts in Intel Russia, as well as Intel’s Performance Library Team. In the early days of OpenCV, the goals of the project were described as:
- Advance vision research by providing not only open but also optimized code for basic vision infrastructure. No more reinventing the wheel.
- Disseminate vision knowledge by providing a common infrastructure that developers could build on, so that code would be more readily readable and transferable.
- Advance vision-based commercial applications by making portable, performance-optimized code available for free – with a license that did not require code to be open or free itself.
The first alpha version of OpenCV was released to the public at the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in 2000, and five betas were released between 2001 and 2005. The first 1.0 version was released in 2006. A version 1.1 "pre-release" was released in October 2008.
The second major release of the OpenCV was in October 2009. OpenCV 2 includes major changes to the C++ interface, aiming at easier, more type-safe patterns, new functions, and better implementations for existing ones in terms of performance (especially on multi-core systems). Official releases now occur every six months and development is now done by an independent Russian team supported by commercial corporations.
On May 2016, Intel signed an agreement to acquire Itseez, the leading developer of OpenCV.
OpenCV's application areas include:
- 2D and 3D feature toolkits
- Egomotion estimation
- Facial recognition system
- Gesture recognition
- Human–computer interaction (HCI)
- Mobile robotics
- Motion understanding
- Object identification
- Segmentation and recognition
- Stereopsis stereo vision: depth perception from 2 cameras
- Structure from motion (SFM)
- Motion tracking
- Augmented reality
To support some of the above areas, OpenCV includes a statistical machine learning library that contains:
- Decision tree learning
- Gradient boosting trees
- Expectation-maximization algorithm
- k-nearest neighbor algorithm
- Naive Bayes classifier
- Artificial neural networks
- Random forest
- Support vector machine (SVM)
- Deep neural networks (DNN) 
OpenCV is written in C++ and its primary interface is in C++, but it still retains a less comprehensive though extensive older C interface. There are bindings in Python, Java and MATLAB/OCTAVE. The API for these interfaces can be found in the online documentation. Wrappers in other languages such as C#, Perl, Ch, Haskell and Ruby have been developed to encourage adoption by a wider audience.
All of the new developments and algorithms in OpenCV are now developed in the C++ interface.
If the library finds Intel's Integrated Performance Primitives on the system, it will use these proprietary optimized routines to accelerate itself.
OpenCV runs on the following desktop operating systems: Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD. OpenCV runs on the following mobile operating systems: Android, iOS, Maemo, BlackBerry 10. The user can get official releases from SourceForge or take the latest sources from GitHub. OpenCV uses CMake.
- AForge.NET, a computer vision library for the Common Language Runtime (.NET Framework and Mono).
- ROS (Robot Operating System). OpenCV is used as the primary vision package in ROS.
- VXL, an alternative library written in C++.
- Integrating Vision Toolkit (IVT), a fast and easy-to-use C++ library with an optional interface to OpenCV.
- CVIPtools, a complete GUI-based computer-vision and image-processing software environment, with C function libraries, a COM-based DLL, along with two utility programs for algorithm development and batch processing.
- OpenNN, an open-source neural networks library written in C++.
- Pulli, Kari; Baksheev, Anatoly; Kornyakov, Kirill; Eruhimov, Victor (1 April 2012). "Realtime Computer Vision with OpenCV". Queue. pp. 40:40–40:56. doi:10.1145/2181796.2206309.
- Intel acquires Itseez: https://opencv.org/intel-acquires-itseez.html
- Adrian Kaehler; Gary Bradski (14 December 2016). Learning OpenCV 3: Computer Vision in C++ with the OpenCV Library. O'Reilly Media. pp. 26ff. ISBN 978-1-4919-3800-3.
- Bradski, Gary; Kaehler, Adrian (2008). Learning OpenCV: Computer vision with the OpenCV library. O'Reilly Media, Inc. p. 6.
- OpenCV change logs: http://code.opencv.org/projects/opencv/wiki/ChangeLog
- OpenCV Developer Site: http://code.opencv.org
- OpenCV User Site: http://opencv.org/
- name=DNN in OpenCV: http://opencv.org/opencv-3-3.html
- OpenCV C interface: http://docs.opencv.org
- CPAN: http://search.cpan.org/~yuta/Cv-0.29/
- Ch OpenCV: http://www.softintegration.com/products/thirdparty/opencv/
- The haskell-opencv project on Github: https://github.com/LumiGuide/haskell-opencv
- Cuda GPU port: http://opencv.org/platforms/cuda.html
- OpenCL Announcement: http://opencv.org/opencv-v2-4-3rc-is-under-way.html
- OpenCL-accelerated Computer Vision API Reference: http://docs.opencv.org/modules/ocl/doc/ocl.html
- Maemo port: https://garage.maemo.org/projects/opencv
- BlackBerry 10 (partial port): https://github.com/blackberry/OpenCV