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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Original author(s) Intel Corporation
Stable release 2.0 / September 30, 2009; 5 month(s) ago (2009-09-30)
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Library
License BSD license

OpenCV is a computer vision library originally developed by Intel. It is free for use under the open source BSD license. The library is cross-platform. It focuses mainly on real-time image processing. If the library finds Intel's Integrated Performance Primitives on the system, it will use these commercial optimized routines to accelerate itself.



The central site for detailed OpenCV information is the OpenCV Wiki [1]. This page contains links to:


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 Intel’s Performance Library Team, as well as a number of optimization experts in Intel Russia. 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 commercial applications to be open or free themselves.

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. In mid 2008, OpenCV obtained corporate support from Willow Garage, and is now again under active development. A version 1.1 "pre-release" was released in October 2008, and a book by two authors of OpenCV published by O'Reilly Media went on the market that same month (see Learning OpenCV: Computer Vision with the OpenCV Library[2] ).

The second major release of the OpenCV was on 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).


openFrameworks running the OpenCV add-on example.

OpenCV's application areas include:

To support some of the above areas, OpenCV includes a statistical machine learning library that contains:

Programming language

The library is mainly written in C, which makes it portable to some specific platforms such as Digital signal processor. But wrappers for languages such as C# and Python have been developed to encourage adoption by a wider audience.

OS Support

OpenCV runs under Linux, Mac OS and Windows. The user can get official releases from sourceforge, or take the current snapshot under SVN from there. OpenCV now uses CMake.


Windows prerequisites

The BaseClasses from DirectShow SDK is required to build some camera input-related parts of OpenCV on Windows. This SDK is found in the Samples\Multimedia\DirectShow\BaseClasses subdirectory of the Microsoft Platform SDK (or DirectX SDK 8.0 to 9.0c / DirectX Media SDK prior to 6.0), which must be built prior to the building of OpenCV.


External links

See also


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