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THE MATHWORKS INTRODUCES THE IMAGE PROCESSING TOOLBOX; PROVIDES INTEGRATED IMAGE PROCESSING AND NUMERIC COMPUTING WITHIN MATLAB

 NATICK, Mass., Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The MathWorks, Inc. announced today the MATLAB(R) Image Processing Toolbox, the first product to provide advanced image processing functionality and robust numeric computation in an affordable, integrated environment.
 Based on MATLAB's visualization and computational tools, the Toolbox expands the use of image processing technology to a wide range of engineering and scientific users. The Toolbox allows users to visualize, manipulate, and analyze images and two-dimensional signals with unprecedented flexibility and accuracy.
 "The Image Processing Toolbox can analyze, filter, or enhance virtually any image -- whether from a scanned photograph or an array of electronic sensors," said Jim Tung, vice president of business development for The MathWorks. "Its seamless integration with the MATLAB environment and its high-performance numeric computation tools mean that technical professionals can easily explore alternative techniques, prototype algorithms, and design optimal solutions to image processing problems.
 "MATLAB is an ideal environment for algorithm development and prototyping," said Tung. "Its language is optimized for manipulating matrices, so it is particularly well suited to image processing. For example, engineers developing state-of-the-art imaging applications such as HDTV can easily design and evaluate compression and enhancement methods. Environmental scientists can use it to interpret satellite images of old-growth areas of a forest and use MATLAB's computational tools to analyze how quickly deforestation is occurring." Other application areas include machine vision, medical diagnostics, industrial inspection, astronomy, mineral exploration, remote sensing, electronics design, and laboratory data analysis.
 "Existing packages are useful for post-processing and viewing images, but they lack the powerful mathematical functions that are needed to transform and analyze large volumes of data," said Tung. "As a result, users have had to learn multiple packages for different parts of the job. Or worse, they don't bother with half of the job because the time and effort to transfer data is too great. In contrast, the MATLAB Image Processing Toolbox gives users a single environment that lets them focus on the end result -- enhancing image quality, extracting useful data from images or other 2-D signals."
 Until now, users who needed to combine image processing with their computational work have typically developed their own tools or interfaces using low-level languages. Others have relied on separate 'point-and-click' image processing applications, which are not a part of a robust computational environment such as MATLAB. Departing from those approaches, the Image Processing Toolbox is a high-level, open system in which users may modify any function to fit specific application requirements.
 Unlike existing image processing packages, the MATLAB Image Processing Toolbox takes advantage of floating-point hardware to provide the numeric accuracy required in demanding applications. Other programs represent images as one-byte integers. This can cause roundoff errors that produce incorrect results in filtering and other complex operations. In contrast, MATLAB performs all image processing operations with full floating-point accuracy. This approach ensures that both built-in and user-written algorithms will be as accurate as possible on any computer platform.
 The MATLAB Image Processing Toolbox includes more than 100 functions for linear and nonlinear filter design, filtering and image restoration, image enhancement, image analysis and statistics, 2-D transforms, and color, geometric, and morphological operations. Predefined operations, such as Sobel and Wiener filtering, provide easy-to-use tools for many applications. In addition, high-level MATLAB source code is provided for all functions, making the Toolbox an excellent foundation for custom applications.
 The Toolbox extends the widely-used filter design tools in the MATLAB Signal Processing Toolbox to provide FIR filter design for two- dimensional signals. The Toolbox is fully compatible with other MATLAB toolboxes and user-written programs. Used with other MATLAB toolboxes, such as the Neural Network or Optimization Toolboxes, the Image Processing Toolbox provides the foundation for solving advanced problems such as pattern recognition.
 The Image Processing Toolbox supports all leading image formats, including TIFF, GIF, and HDL, as well as platform-specific formats such as PCX, Windows BMP, XWD, and PICT.
 The Image Processing Toolbox is available immediately. Pricing starts at $895 for single-user microcomputer copies. Quantity and educational discounts are available. The Toolbox, which requires MATLAB and the Signal Processing Toolbox, will ship on all MATLAB platforms, including: MS-Windows PCs, Apple Macintosh, and Sun, HP, DEC, IBM, and Silicon Graphics workstations.
 MATLAB is the most powerful technical computing environment on the market today. It provides numeric and symbolic computation, a high- level language, 3-D graphics, and application-specific toolboxes. MATLAB allows users to analyze and visualize data, analyze and optimize engineering system designs and algorithms, and create mathematical models.
 The MathWorks, Inc., based in Natick, Mass., develops, markets and supports high-performance software for interactive numeric computation, visualization, and dynamic system simulation. The MathWorks' products are relied upon by more than 140,000 users at the world's leading commercial and government research laboratories, engineering organizations, and educational institutions.
 NOTE: MATLAB is a registered trademark of The MathWorks, Inc.
 -0- 9/27/93
 /CONTACT: Joanne Dawson of The MathWorks, 508-653-1415, ext. 401; or Bob Keener of Rourke & Co., 617-267-0042, ext. 304, for The MathWorks/


CO: The MathWorks ST: Massachusetts IN: CPR SU: PDT

CM-JL -- NE007 -- 5824 09/27/93 09:28 EDT
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Date:Sep 27, 1993
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