Embedded devices often have to interact with their environment with no specific user interaction or guidance. Sensors are key functionalities in such devices because they can transform real-world elements into data that will be computed by dedicated algorithms. Infrared or ultrasound sensors offer an inexpensive way to explore the closed environment for embedded devices, such as robots or on-board vehicle equipment, but they cannot help when you have to work with shapes or colors.

Obtaining images of the environment through a digital camera is a common way of interaction for numerous embedded devices; the images may simply be transmitted or recorded if the aim is monitoring, or they can go through shape, color, or motion detection. As Windows Embedded Compact 7 is targeted at 32-bit CPUs nowadays running at frequencies up to 1500MHz, the computing capabilities are sufficient to even integrate image processing in the deterministic computing path if the embedded system has to react to external events.

Like its predecessors Windows Embedded Compact 7 comes with a general multimedia infrastructure called DirectShow, which is an extensible software framework for media rendering. The basic elements of the DirectShow infrastructure are media filters ranking in three categories: Sources, Transforms, and Renderers. DirectShow filters are COM objects interconnected at runtime to organize a multimedia pipeline. You may use the DirectShow infrastructure to handle ...

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