Can you remember the first time you used the internet? If you’re long enough in the tooth to recall your first time ‘online’, then chances are it was around the turn of the millennium. In 1995 there were just 16 million people with internet access… but by 2001 that number had risen to more than half a billion.

This was the ‘S-curve’ of new technology in action – steady growth transforming into exponential adoption in a short space of time. Today the same thing is happening with electric vehicles, renewables and now factory automation.

As sites open up and demand returns, immediate challenges take our attention – supply chains, material shortages, labour pressures. While in the background, new advances in automation and vision are entering the market, and being integrated into industry, on a scale not seen before.

We’re heading up the automation ‘S-curve’ right now – the technology’s becoming more affordable, the applications more ubiquitous, the return on investment faster.

In this month’s Vision Update we look at the ‘S-curve’ in detail: the tech, from the incredible Cognex In-Sight D900 to the all-in-one FLIR A50/ A70; the returns on investment, from heavy industry to ecommerce; and the applications, with a deep dive into plastic-free packaging in our latest white paper.

Thanks for reading