Documenting the Coming Singularity

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Google Glass Will Bring Superhuman Vision

ExtremeTech - 10.24.13 by David Cardinal

Cloud-powered facial recognition is good enough to identify friends and foes alike in near-real-time. Coupled with the massive amount of information available on each of us in the cloud, it is only a small step to the otherworldly experience of never forgetting someone’s name, or knowing when to be on high alert about a person walking towards you.
Stanford professor Marc Levoy, fresh off a two-year leave to work on Google Glass, recently spoke to a packed house at Stanford’s Center for Image Engineering (SCIEN) about the new era of photography that Glass, and other increasingly powerful wearable cameras, have begun to usher in. While many of the new applications have been talked about — like first-person videos and the ability to take pictures without losing eye contact — Levoy explained that those are only the tip of the iceberg. He sees a combination of computational imaging and new-form-factor, camera-equipped devices will allow for a set of what he described as “superhero vision” capabilities.

Rapidly increasing processor power will help fuel this new world of powerful new photographic tools. Levoy, a pioneer in both computer graphics and computational imaging, noted that GPU power is growing by roughly 80% per year, while megapixels are only growing by about 20%. That means more horsepower to process each pixel — with the available cycles increasing each year. Coupled with near-real-time multi-frame image capture, the bounds of traditional photography can even be stretched beyond the borders of a single image.

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