It’s gotten a bit quiet around Pelican Imaging, lately. Until today, when the mobile plenoptics specialists have broken the silence and announced their own version of a WebGL light field viewer.
“What do photos with depth look like?”, the company teased in their newsletter. To answer that question, the company has published a small sample image gallery based on the new “Pelican 3D Image Viewer”, which allows users to check out and interact with 8 sample images taken with the Pelican Array Camera.
Last autumn, the Fraunhofer Institute of Integrated Circuits (IIS) announced their very own light field camera setup, which they dubbed the “most innovative lightfield camera recording system to date“.
At NAB 2014, the world’s largest electronic media show, the IIS gave live demonstrations of their camera.
The 4×4 camera array consists of a total of 16 smartphone camera modules connected to a PC apparently running Ubuntu Linux. Continue reading
It won’t be very long until we can find light field technology in smartphones. Until then, developers are finding ways to substitute advanced optics with software.
The newest addition to a slowly growing body of smartphone apps that mimic light field features – such as software refocus or single-lens 3D (e.g. for perspective shift, parallax) – is an iOS app called Seene.
The app uses computer vision and your phone’s sophisticated sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope) to create a 3D model of a scene in just a few instants. Continue reading
Light field photography is very exciting, but so far, the options for consumers are very limited. You can either get an affordable dedicated light field camera (coming with its own set of drawbacks), or go for a custom DSLR modification that is pointed at the professional and industrial market and basically out of reach for typical enthusiasts.
Recent news of a new Olympus patent for a Micro Four-Thirds plenoptic adapter have already shown that it might not be so long until we can upgrade interchangeable-lens cameras on a flexible basis. At this year’s SIGGRAPH conference, set to take place next week in Anaheim, California, Researchers Alkhazur Manakov and colleagues from Saarland University (Germany) will be presenting a new, addon for ordinary DSLR cameras, that will achieve even more than “just” light field capabilities.
One of the major aspects of computer vision is object recognition. While humans usually have no problems finding an object in an image or video – despite the multitude of possible viewing angles – this is still relatively hard to do with one or more cameras and a computer.
Especially tough is the task of automatically recognizing of transparent objects, as they are often hard to discern from their background.
This is where light field technology comes in handy: researchers from Kyushu University in Japan have come up with a method for recognizing transparent objects through the amount of refraction and distortion these objects place on the background. Plenoptic cameras (a.k.a. light field cameras) provide the multiple points of view necessary to determine the optical features of the object (collectively termed as the “Light Field Distortion Feature”).