Nudging the world toward better pictures and video


An excellent article on FXPAL’s NudgeCam application recently appeared in MIT’s Technology Review. NudgeCam encapsulates standard video capture heuristics, such as how to frame a face and good brightness characteristics, in order to provide guidance to users as they are taking video, using image analysis techniques such as face recognition,  as to how to adjust the camera to improve the video capture.

For its size, FXPAL has surprising breadth and variety of expertise. The NudgeCam work resulted from a collaboration between Scott Carter, whose expertise is in mobile and ubiquitous computing,  and John Doherty, our multimedia specialist, who knows all the standard video capture heuristics and many more. John Adcock brought image analysis techniques to the team, and 2009 FXPAL summer intern Stacy Branham contributed her human-computer interaction expertise.

A different application, also developed at FXPAL, supports rephotography in an industrial setting. Rephotography is the art of taking a photograph from the same location and angle as a previous photograph. It is most commonly used to show how buildings or landscapes have evolved over time. It is also used in industry to analyze wear on industrial parts or to compare a part that has caused a problem with a working part. Jun Shingu, a Fuji Xerox employee who came to work at FXPAL for a year and a half, pioneered the use of augmented reality technology to aid users in taking repeat photos. He also designed graphics, placed in an augmented reality display, that guide users toward the pose of the previous picture. Another interdisciplinary team at FXPAL supported his research.

For more information about NudgeCam, read the Technology Review article. More details about NudgeCam can be found in the NudgeCam team’s paper that will be presented at ACM Multimedia 2010. More details on the Augmented Reality Camera Navigation System will become available when the team’s paper is presented at ISMAR 2010.

As an aside, the Technology Review article on NudgeCam is written by Tom Simonite, who wrote the article on  last year’s breakthrough in homomorphic encryption for which he interviewed me.

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  1. […] FXPAL has a few papers appearing at the upcoming ACM Multimedia Conference in Firenze, Italy.  Among them is NudgeCam, which was recently featured in an article on MIT’s Technology Review as noted previously on this very blog. […]

  2. […] and some of the approach to real-time video capture implemented in NudgeCam, which John Adcock wrote about earlier. The video, set to Usher’s OMG (feat. Will.I.Am), consists of stills with Spanish text and […]

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