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”).
Lytro has just updated their website and Youtube Channel to include information on the newest software feature to be released: Perspective Shift.
The possibility to change the point of view will be available both within the Lytro Desktop Software and on the web, on December 4, 2012. The best part about it: You’ll be able to both refocus (click) and shift perspective (click+drag) in one Living Picture. Since the Lytro camera captures the raw LightField, all the pictures you’ve already taken will also get the parallax feature.
Lytro’s newest light field capability, Perspective Shift, allows you to interactively change your point of view in a picture, after you’ve taken the picture. On a computer or mobile device, you can shift the living picture in any direction; left, right, up, down and all around. Continue reading
Graphics processor- and chipset manufacturer Nvidia regularly hosts an in-house conference titled “GPU Technology Conference” (GTC). The event is primarily targeted at engineers, scientists and journalists. At GTC 2012 Earlier this year, Raytrix co-founder Christian Perwass introduced the company’s LightField cameras, their fields of application and the technology behind the LightField: