A smartcamera is a system in which the digitizing and image processing components are enclosed in a single container. The term is usually associated with the devices used in machine vision applications.
This architecture is an alternative to other systems in which the components reside in different devices such as for example those based on cameras, frame grabber and PC.
A smartcamera, like other vision systems, executes an application program capable of processing images and communicating the extracted information to the outside world through the interface that is attached. Often the software applications installed on the device are configurable and easy to use even by inexperienced users. Therefore the difference between smart cameras and vision systems are mainly based on traditional dimensions and limited hardware resources.