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The 23-year-old open source project OpenCV launches a $500,000 crowdfunding campaign: Let OpenCV 5 live! -CSDN Blog


Organizing | Tu Min
Produced | CSDN (ID: CSDNnews)

Without financial support, the development and maintenance of open source projects is difficult, and sometimes it is even impossible to see the future.

Recently, behind a “Keep Open Source Computer Vision & AI Alive” (let open source computer vision and AI “alive”) poster, the veteran open source computer vision and machine learning software library OpenCV team issued a request for help with “the world’s largest computer The largest release in the history of the visual library, supporting open source” is the theme, and a crowdfunding campaign is launched on the fundraising website Indiegogo, hoping to raise the funds needed for the next version of OpenCV – OpenCV 5.

OpenCV has evolved for 23 years and has become a widely used computer vision library in the AI ​​field.

“I hope to study some directions that are more valuable to the entire computer field. I found that computer vision requires a lot of calculations, and most laboratories are reinventing the wheel. Some of the work can even be done by graduate students in schools. Why Can’t we open the library to everyone? This is the core reason why I created OpenCV,” OpenCV founder Gary Bradski said in an early interview with CSDN.

With this original intention, OpenCV was launched as an Intel research project in 1999, and then the first preview version was released in 2000, aiming to promote CPU-intensive applications, including a series of projects such as real-time ray tracing and 3D projection display.

As a product that follows the Apache 2 license, OpenCV allows users to easily use and modify code, which is one of the important reasons why OpenCV is widely used.

“From a data point of view, a search for OpenCV on Google Scholar returned 175,000 results, and a search on Google returned 43,700,000 results,” the OpenCV team wrote in the crowdfunding announcement. “According to industry reports, 89% of embedded OpenCV is used by modern vision engineers as the primary computer vision library, and the technology itself is used on probes and satellites in outer space, as well as in emergency rooms, farms, factories, and college campuses.”

Why does OpenCV 5 launch crowdfunding?

In fact, as an open source project, OpenCV cannot survive today without the support of some major technology companies.


OpenCV has also done some fundraising before, but it was mainly a crowdfunding campaign for some hardware and courses. Today, it is the first time that a crowdfunding campaign has been launched for the development of the OpenCV library itself.

The reason for doing this is that OpenCV 5 is expected to be a breakthrough release, the OpenCV team said. The core team has been working hard to develop new advanced algorithms, expand to more platforms, enhance integration with other tools, and optimize for more different types of hardware. The proposed changes and additions are substantial and will require significant time and effort from the core team and Top Contributors on GitHub.

Unfortunately, due to changes in the global competitive environment, OpenCV has lost some core team members, which has slowed down its progress in developing new features and handling bugs and requests in its GitHub repository.

Under this, the OpenCV crowdfunding development of OpenCV 5 has also set three goals:

  • Making OpenCV 5 the largest release to date with the most community involvement;

  • Demonstrate to other struggling open source projects that crowdfunding is a viable option that doesn’t rely solely on corporate donations;

  • Create a sustainable fundraising method that OpenCV can return to every year, making the entire organization and project stronger in the face of global instability.

“Crowdfunding the development of a large open source project like OpenCV is a major initiative. We don’t know of anyone doing it on this scale. As a non-profit, we are constantly working to find funding, but we are always on our Find support in the community. Instead of spending time chasing big checks from billionaires, we put the community first,” said OpenCV.

As a result, OpenCV launched a crowdfunding campaign on the fundraising website Indiegogo on October 24. Phil Nelson, OpenCV’s content and creative director, said on the official blog:

“In this event, we will connect the entire community – including individual developers, small, medium and large companies, and creators. Together we can do amazing things.”

How much money and resources will it cost to develop the next generation of OpenCV 5.0?

In fact, OpenCV 5.0 was originally planned as the 20th anniversary version and was initially planned to be released in 2020. However, if the latest OpenCV 5.0 wants to be implemented, as mentioned above, it faces huge challenges.

Currently, OpenCV has set a crowdfunding goal of $500,000. At the same time, the team also listed on the crowdfunding platform the time and resource costs it will cost developers to develop each feature, such as:

  • Deep neural network module: $150,000

  • Accelerated image processing: $150,000

  • TrueType font support (including full Unicode): $50,000

  • Improved support for fisheye camera calibration:[$100,000 + 硬件(约$20,000,与多摄像头支持共享)]

  • Improved support for multi-camera calibration:[$100,000 + 硬件(约$20,000,与鱼眼相机共享)]

  • Better support for depth cameras and new algorithms

  • Raspberry Pi Kit

  • Android Kit

  • Jetson Kit

  • Better optimization for AMD CPU and GPU

  • Add more models to the OpenCV model repository, such as Anomalib

  • Code refactoring/functional simplification: ($40,000)

  • Much improved documentation and updated tutorials

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stretch goals

In the vision of the OpenCV team, if this crowdfunding can exceed the goal of $500,000, they have something more they want to do.

  • When $600,000 is reached: Hire a full-time senior core team member.

  • When $700,000 is reached: Add a second continuous integration and build the server in the new location.

  • When $800,000 is reached: OpenCV AI Competition 2023, with a minimum prize of $100,000.

  • When $1M is reached: Freemium OpenCV cloud service for 3D computer vision. For example, Gaussian distribution training and inference.

Open source crowdfunding is also a difficult road to follow.

Finally, the OpenCV team has guaranteed that 100% of its crowdfunding funds will be used to hire engineers (part-time or full-time) to develop the OpenCV library. Depending on how much money is raised, it may also need to hire interns. Within OpenCV, the two main organizations that directly help with development work are OpenCV.AI (headquartered in Cyprus) and OpenCV China, with contributors located around the world.

If the crowdfunding goes smoothly, it will launch the OpenCV 5.0 version within 6-7 months after the crowdfunding. Based on the current time, it will be released in July or August 2024.

However, in reality, 10 days have passed since its launch of crowdfunding. As of now, OpenCV has only raised 4% of its US$500,000 goal, or US$22,740. There is still a long way to go to maintain the crowdfunding of open source projects. Far.

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The article is in Chinese

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