Program allows ordinary digital camera to see round corners - “In essence, computation can turn a matt wall into a mirror”
In a demonstration of “computational periscopy” a US team at Boston University showed they could see details of objects hidden from view by analysing shadows they cast on a nearby wall.
Vivek Goyal, an electrical engineer at the university, said that while the work had clear implications for surveillance he hoped it would lead to robots that could navigate better and boost the safety of driverless cars.
The researchers, writing in the journal Nature, describe how they pieced together hidden scenes by pointing the digital camera at the vague shadows they cast on a nearby wall. If the wall had been a mirror the task would have been easy, but a matt wall scatters light in all directions, so the reflected image is nothing but a blur. Goyal said: “In essence, computation can turn a matt wall into a mirror.”
Yes, it could be used for creepy uses but then so could any camera, car , computer, etc. But it could also have much broader uses, he said, in microscopy, medical imaging and monitoring in hazardous environments such as chemical plants or nuclear power stations. Laurenzis said: “The technique could be used by vehicles to avoid collisions, and by firefighters and first responders to look into burning or collapsed structures.”
|Program allows ordinary digital camera to see round corners | Science | The Guardian