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3-D Surveillance Technology

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the i-choose-the-3d-pill dept.

Technology 93

scubacuda writes "According to this Technology Review article, a new surveillance technology called Video Flashlight melds 3-D models from background scenes. This "tweening process" allows security persononnel to fly around a subject such as a pedestrian, getting a detailed look without jumping between widely separated views." That's just flat out cool.

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93 comments

Cross your eyes and stare (-1)

Genghis Troll (158585) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749018)

at the brown-eyed glory [goatse.cx] .

Re:Cross your eyes and stare (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749188)

I was driving today and saw two groups of 'protest'. One was a single man holding a huge sign with an aborted fetus head on it. I'm not really sure what he was protesting, 'cause he didn't have any words attached to it. The other, right across the street, consisted of about 10 business-type people with fag-sans style writing complaining about US imperialism.
Imperialism?

Re:Cross your eyes and stare (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749418)

You, sir, have been trolled. Protesters are the trolls of society, they are just making fun of 'normal' people. Police arresting them are like slashot moderators, they love rough anal sex.

3D view (-1)

RoboTroll (560160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749021)

Surveys should most slashdot readers would like a 3D view of this [goatse.cx] .

From what I understand (2)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749028)

This is a direct descendant of the technique used in the Matrix.

From the rumormill, this technique will be used in the Matrix 2 to create even better effects than was done previously.

Re:From what I understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749087)

Much more like the technique portrayed in "Enemy of the State".
Will Smith has the McGuffin in his shopping bag, and the evil NSA use multiple camera angles to deduce the 3D geometry of the sack's deformation, thereby discoverying what he's carrying.

Re:From what I understand (2)

kindbud (90044) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749164)

When I first saw The Matrix, I thought they did the opening scene's jump-kick with tweening, and thought it was too cool. Then I saw The Making of The Matrix, and that they did it with the multiple computer-timed still cameras, and was not as impressed as I was before.

If the 2nd movie uses tweening, and the result is better looking than the timed cameras used in the first, I will be impressed again.

Re:From what I understand (2)

uradu (10768) | more than 12 years ago | (#3751310)

> If the 2nd movie uses tweening, and the result is better looking than the timed cameras used in
> the first, I will be impressed again.

Uh, how exactly can an interpolated, computer generated image of a human be better looking than an actual photograph, which is what M1 used? It might buy you more flexibility and more otherwise impossible scenes, but it's certainly not going to be looking more realistic than the real thing.

Re:From what I understand (3, Informative)

clifyt (11768) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749173)

Hmmm...Probably not. This technique has been around for a while, but not really practical or smooth except with recent technologies. The Matrix trick was very unsophistocated in terms of electronics. Its just a few hundred cameras that are synched and can be switched from in a linear method giving the illusion of 1 single camera.

Several years ago, there was a product released on the Mac (and then simply disappearing) called Canomera. It took 2 camera positions and after you filled in a few details such as corners of buildings and all that stuff, it could interpolate between the 2 (or more) picts and allow this same sort of trick. If one had static cameras with these corner positions prelocated, it would be dead simple to create a realtime fly through with the same software base.

clif

Re:From what I understand (1)

rycamor (194164) | more than 12 years ago | (#3750133)

I agree. The multiple-camera technique has been around since the mid-90s, AFAIK. First used in MTV videos, I think.

The method we are talking about sounds more like the method portrayed in Enemy of the State, as mentioned above. I saw an interview with the director, and he said everything mentioned in the movie comes from *declassified* information-- in other words "old news".

Yes, the tweening techniques have been around for awhile, too. I remember seeing at least 5 years ago a documentary on a project that combined a digital camera with GPS positioning data (and a gyroscope, I believe) to create a 3D model of a landscape. They showed a guy just walking around a park with a video camera and a laptop; he didn't even have to walk in a predermined path. NASA used this same technique for the 3D model of the Mars Rover landscape.

Re:From what I understand (2)

WolfWithoutAClause (162946) | more than 12 years ago | (#3750237)

Its just a few hundred cameras that are synched and can be switched from in a linear method giving the illusion of 1 single camera.

Actually no. There would have had to have too many cameras to get a smooth camera movement- and the cameras would have got in each others way. The Matrix effects really did have to do inbetweening between the different cameras digitally in fact.

I am uncertain as to how much of this was done by software and how much was hand hacked in practice, frame by frame; but it wasn't as simplistic as you said above.

Re:From what I understand (1)

rycamor (194164) | more than 12 years ago | (#3751261)

Actually, yes. See http://www.howstuffworks.com/question295.htm

If you see the dcumentary of the making of "The Matrix", you can see the actual setup. It doesn't take hundreds of cameras, though. Film operates at 24 frames per second, so 2 seconds worth of "fly around" would only need 48 cameras, give or take.

I'm sure it would be possible to use tweening to assist in the motion, but hardly necessary. This effect has been around for a few years, definitely before video and filmmaking went completely digital.

Re:From what I understand (2)

WolfWithoutAClause (162946) | more than 12 years ago | (#3752044)

Did you even read the url you reference?:

"A technician deals with all of these imperfections one image at a time using a computer and digitized versions of the images. Once the still images are perfect, the morphing software interpolates between them. Then the background images are laid into the green area. A technician has to build a complete 3-D computer model of the computer-generated scene and then key the rotation through this scene to the position of the camera in each frame of the film."

As I said, the cameras are too bulky... they needed to be able to inbetween them to get the effect that the director wanted.

OMG I JIUST THERW UP!~ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749034)

who wants to mastiurbate with me??

ENEMY OF MY STATE IS YOUR STATE (-1)

StuffMaster (412029) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749036)

So we're finally getting that technology from Enemy of the State? It'll probably take ten years (or more) to filter down to lingerie stores. Stupid scientists, can't keep up with Hollywood.

Maybe Hollywood should keep the science fiction to (futuristic) sci-fi movies....

been there. done that. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749041)

QuickTime VR, anyone?

how does this work (1)

MrSloth (544065) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749043)

If you can't see all of someone how the hell are you supposed to get a 3d model of them! Admitedly you could assume that their symetrical or something, but that is usually a bad assumption. And who is to say that the dimension you can't see isn't normal. Like a person who is 5'7" and three feet wide but whose depth is normal. Their side veiw would imply a normal 5'7" person.

Re:how does this work (3, Informative)

telstar (236404) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749067)

You "DO" see all of someone. As the article says, this technology just uses hundreds of cameras, and merges their information in realtime. Of course the criminal might notice the couple hundred cameras as he walks down the street .... but at least you'll have a 3D view of him as he steals one of them.

Re:how does this work (1)

MrSloth (544065) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749513)

Actually, I think it did say something about a single stationary camera. Maybe I'm wrong though. Thanks for helping me clear this up.

Re:how does this work (2)

jon_c (100593) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749899)

I really wish someone who knew more about this would post, my super charged troglodyte mind tells me it works something like this.

you'll need at least 6 cameras:
the scene from above:

/**c**\
/*-----*\
/**|+++|**\
c**|*c*|***c
\**-----**/
\*******/
\**c**/

in this crude ascii drawing we have five cameras(c), there's another one below the middle one, so we could say 6. there the box in the middle is the scene, and the diagonal lines is the cameras viewing frustum. the (*) is just for spacing, i couldn't make it work with spaces.

Each one actually contains two cameras, very close to each other to create a stereo effect, which presumably some software to extrapolate to create a 3d image.

The 3d image from any one camera would only be good for what it can see, so you'll have an extrusion, or unknown for what it can't. this is there the other cameras fall into place, they each can generate an image for what they know. Then though math and magic all the 3d images are combined to create one 3d image.

this is only a guess, maybe it works like this maybe not.

-Jon

Re:how does this work (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749982)

Actually, they talked about multiple networked cameras.
It really doesn't matter how many cameras you have, as long as you can see every part of the subject, which means a minimum of three cameras.
As they explained in the article, the basic buildings in the area have already been modelled in 3D and are used as reference for the computer to be able to discern what is what. Anything which doesn't match the model, is considered a foreign object, and by extrapolating information about that object from as many cameras as it needs to, the computer can build a 3D model of that object in real time. Since this is being fed into a 3D engine, the observer can place a virtual 'camera' like he would in any 3D animation package, anywhere within the scene. Of course, this will basically mean the end of privacy. Imagine going to a romantic dinner, and the security guy on the 3rd floor is looking at your date from the same angle you are... It's all possible.
Of course, Hollywood will take massive advantages of this technology, using it to generate camera moves in a real location otherwise impossible to achieve.
Also, imagine watching a ball game on TV where they can cut to any angle, even seeing the POV of the ball as it travels through the air.
Or, being able to see the exact POV of a race car driver without puttin a camera on his helmet.

Next stop: displaying the output in 3D using holograms. That could be very cool for ballgames also... Your home team is on the road, but you can still go see them 'live' at their home court.

Oh, and pr0n will take on a whole new meaning...

Re:how does this work (2)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 12 years ago | (#3752349)

Oh yeah.. it's the end of privacy.
Hello.. if a camera can't see anything at any given moment, neither can the security guys.

So if your date is sitting around, they *can't* see it from your point of view accurately, because you would be obscuring the camera. What? The camera is above your head looking at your date? then you never had privacy in the first place.

The hologram thing is cool.. someone just has to invent the hologram

Re:how does this work (2)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 12 years ago | (#3752347)

This isn't about precise 3d imaging of each person wandering around.. it's about a model that's easier to work with.

Following people around using discrete cameras is not natural... it's difficult.

Using those cameras to create a more natural 3d environment for those monitoring to see what's going on will make it easier for security staff to have a good feel for what's up.

Ha! Get it, "flat out"? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749049)

Well I appreciate you, Taco.
AC.

Court case (2)

brejc8 (223089) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749052)

I remember a court case where some politician was reported in the paper to have been with a prostitute.
Later on some late night talk show they got footage of him just walking along to some one and talking to them.
Then they used software like this to place him on a different background going over to a prostitute.

It was so convincing he took them to court for making it.

You will hug a root today! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749054)

Today is your last chance to hug a root today,
don't miss out.

Hug a root today!

Real-World Video Game (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749065)

Real-World Video Game
Surveillance was never so much fun.

The producers of the 1999 sci-fi martial-arts extravaganza The Matrix used elaborate and costly movie camera technology to circle around characters frozen mid-kung-fu kick. Such vertiginous visual effects can now be generated on the cheap from live images provided by stationary video cameras. But even more pertinent in the post-September 11 era, the package of video-processing and 3-D modeling technologies delivering these tricks promises to set a new standard for surveillance and security systems--and bring new meaning to the term "reality programming."

The system, developed at Sarnoff in Princeton, NJ, allows users to joystick their way through a live, 3-D scene as if it were the latest video game. Indeed, by stitching together scenes captured by dozens or hundreds of networked cameras, the technology makes it possible to conduct a virtual patrol of an entire urban center, or every hallway in a building, in real time. "It's difficult for eyeballs to make sense of what a collection of cameras sees. This is an integrated way to use hundreds of cameras to make one display," says Rakesh Kumar, computer scientist and lead developer of the technology, dubbed "Video Flashlight."
What makes the new system so unusual is that it melds 3-D models of a background scene--say, a cluster of buildings--with real-time camera views of the same area. Image-processing chips developed at Sarnoff detect new or moving objects, construct 3-D images of these objects, and integrate them into the model. New software for "tweening"--filling in the gaps between video frames--lets security personnel "fly" around a subject such as a pedestrian, getting a detailed look without jumping between widely separated views. "This is beyond anything else out there" in vision processing, says Mari Maeda, a physicist who shepherded Sarnoff's project as a program manager at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Uses of the technology could include marking and tracking individuals as they move, or setting off an alarm when an unusual pattern is detected, such as a large group of people entering a building. Sarnoff engineers say the system needs refinement--for example, they aim to make it work with cameras that zoom, pan and tilt, not just fixed ones. But early versions have already been installed at U.S. Army Intelligence headquarters and are under consideration for New York City's three airports--perhaps bringing us all a step closer to living inside the Matrix.

pr0n (4, Funny)

Max von H. (19283) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749069)

I can foresee a bright future for this technology in the pr0n industry... Combine it with a VR helmet, and you're on the way to re-enact some cool scenes from Strange Days!

Scary... (1, Flamebait)

donnacha (161610) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749071)


It's kinda scary that the reporter is, in a sense, selling us on this aspect of the ever more frightening reach of surveillance into our lives by tying it in so heavily with one of the coolest films of recent years, The Matrix.

While the film itself was pretty damn cool, we should bear in mind that the world it depicted would be pretty damn shit to actually live in.

Re:Scary... (2)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749080)

While the film itself was pretty damn cool, we should bear in mind that the world it depicted would be pretty damn shit to actually live in.

Only if you knew what's going on. It's an exact simulation of real life - you'd have no idea if you were in it. It wouldn't be "shit to actually live in" - it'd be the same as our world.

Re:Scary... (2)

donnacha (161610) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749105)

It wouldn't be "shit to actually live in" - it'd be the same as our world.
No.

It wouldn't be "the same", it would be pretending to be the same as our world.

It's like when you've got a friend who's living in a complete fantasy world: he might be perfectly happy right now but, as his friend, you have a duty to at least try making him see reality because if he realizes it for himself years later, he'll bitterly regret pissing away valuable years of his life working for and believing in something that actually wasn't at all what he thought it was.

One of my friends used to work for Microsoft.

Re:Scary... (2)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749118)

If this fantasy world is convincing enough for everyone to believe it, I don't really have a problem with it. Remember Cypher - he'd rather live in the Matrix than in the real world, and I suspect most people would feel the same. Steak vs. goop? Hmm... I think I'll live in fantasy world, thanks.

Goop vs. Steak (2)

donnacha (161610) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749147)

Steak vs. goop? Hmm... I think I'll live in fantasy world, thanks.
If life was just a question of consumption, of watching the pretty colors go by, sure.

But perhaps it's about leaving your mark on the world, the real world. Cows might be happy but, essentially, we've redirected them from their destiny to serve our ends.

I'm not saying that there is a specific point to life but, getting very minimalistic about it, you could say that our "purpose" is to pass on our genes in the ongoing dance of evolution. If we are not at least partially in control of our destinies we no longer get to participate in that, the continuance of our lines.

It's not so much a question of Steak vs. Goop but what you do with your goop.

Re:Scary... (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749131)

There are times when this world can be shit to live in too... :-)

Re:Scary... (2)

donnacha (161610) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749162)

There are times when this world can be shit to live in too... :-)
Yeah, but at least it's real and, assisted by a reasonably accurate idea of it's nature, we are free to do our best to improve it.

Re:Scary... (1)

PacoTaco (577292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3750126)

Was anyone else bothered by the phrase in the article "setting off an alarm when an unusual pattern is detected"? Great, now we'll have to practice "acting normal" to avoid triggering an alarm. Since it's legal to install cameras in public places, you could potentially be monitored almost anywhere. Hmm, this reminds me of a certain novel by George Orwell (not the one with the pigs.)

Re:Scary... (2)

donnacha (161610) | more than 12 years ago | (#3750518)

Since it's legal to install cameras in public places, you could potentially be monitored almost anywhere. Hmm, this reminds me of a certain novel by George Orwell (not the one with the pigs.)
Yeah, well, something tells me there's going to be plenty of pigs involved with this technology.

Cool... NOT; Scary... YES (2, Insightful)

grokk (227023) | more than 12 years ago | (#3753656)

The incessant augmentation of police state powers is NOT a cool thing at all.

The way a lot of people around /. talk about these things, it's pretty clear that they don't ever expect to be the object of these new 'toys'. I find the complacent, pseudo-cool, abstract discussion of these matters to be almost as scary as this police state 'apparatus'.

Tell me people: just when do the warning bells go off in your heads (the 'crime' issue is always meant to sidetrack your critical reasoning powers, BTW)?

Re:Cool... NOT; Scary... YES (2)

donnacha (161610) | more than 12 years ago | (#3756053)

I find the complacent, pseudo-cool, abstract discussion of these matters to be almost as scary as this police state 'apparatus'.
Amen.

Something about this bothers me... (3, Troll)

allism (457899) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749074)

Yeah, I know they say that they are using multiple cameras and just using tweening to fill in gaps between frames, but when you start sticking little stuff in, how do you know what's real and what's not?

Made me think of the character in Stranger in a Strange Land, can't remember her name, but she was a trained witness of some sort and would not testify, for example that a house was white on all sides unless she had seen all sides of the house and then she wouldn't testify that the sides of the house she could no longer see had stayed white. Granted, that's a little extreme, but the average Joe is gonna believe what he sees is true, and this is mucking with that truth just a little bit. If this is used in court, is an expert going to be able to testify that only certain parts were added? Wouldn't that seem a little odd to a jury, "Hi, we're going to show you a videotape of something that happened and you're going to have to take it as gospel...AFTER we tell you that we added a few little bits to it."?

Course, I'm paranoid, if someone tells me they mucked with it a little bit, I'm gonna assume they added exactly what they wanted me to see...

Re:Something about this bothers me... (5, Insightful)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749091)

If they showed the tapes in court, they'd be able to show the original, uncombined versions too. Remember, it's not some magical camera - there're many many cameras that get their input processed for easier viewing. You can still fall back on the raw data if you need it.

Re:Something about this bothers me... (1)

eyegor (148503) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749101)

I suppose that depends on how much the technology is (or becomes) trusted.

Yes, it's possible to "add" a gun (or a prostitute) to a scene. It would also be possible to add a digital watermark to each source frame and reconstruct the tweened data (or what the surveillors saw) on the fly for legal purposes (assuming, of course, that some enterprising soul didn't find a way to hack the watermarking scheme).

The technology sounds cool though. Imagine how cool pr0n dvd's could be. You already have multiple camera angles available on disk, all you'd have to do is to play back the disk on a tween-enabled player or a computer and get a whole new perspective on things. yowsa!

Re:Something about this bothers me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749107)

I belive her name was Anne, and she was an official fair witness. WHen she was on duty, she couldnt NOT give an exactly true answer, some kind of mental training/controll.

Re:Something about this bothers me... (2)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749700)

"Well ... no, I don't. I've never had any dealings with Fair Witnesses."

"So? Perhaps you weren't aware of it. Anne!"

Anne was seated on the springboard; she turned her head. Jubal called out, "That new house on the far hilltop-can you see what color they've painted it?"

Anne looked in the direction in which Jubal was pointing and answered, "It's white on this side." She did not inquire why Jubal had asked, nor make any comment.

Jubal went on to Jill in normal tones, "You see? Anne is so thoroughly indoctrinated that it doesn't even occur to her to infer that the other side is probably white, too. All the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't force her to commit herself as to the far side - . . unless she herself went around to the other side and looked-and even then she wouldn't assume that it stayed whatever color it might be after she left because they might repaint it as soon as she turned her back,"

"Anne is a Fair Witness?"

"Graduate, unlimited license, and admitted to testify before the High Court. Sometime ask her why she decided to give up public practice. But don't plan on anything else that day-the wench will recite the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and that takes time."

--Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

Re:Something about this bothers me... (2, Insightful)

arn@lesto (107672) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749514)

There is a much bigger issue here. Digital images should not be admissible in court. Anyone with a simple image editor can add/remove things. Photographs at least have a negative that will show any tampering.

Until digital cameras "sign" every image with a unique id, a time stamp and a hash of the image don't expect the courts to accept the images as evidence. The camera should also have some way of verifying that it took the photo image and that it hasn't been altered.

Digital video would have to have every frame signed. Once you can verify that the original video sources are free of tampering then there shouldn't be any problem with showing a 3D fly through providing the court can locate the original view that contributed to some item of interest.

Re:Something about this bothers me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749927)

Trouble is, if systems like this are used to identify suspected terrrists, there's every chance they will never even be brought before a court [bbc.co.uk] in the US.

Reminds me of something I realized years back (2)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 12 years ago | (#3750705)

When the movie "Outbreak" and its CG F/X with choppers hit the screens, I remember thinking "Wow, you can't tell what's real and what's not anymore. You really cannot tell the difference between a CG scene and a real one. I wonder how long it will take before news studios start using this to fabricate stories."

Upon which a friend of mine replied, "What makes you think they don't already?"

Eye without a face (Fucking Americans) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749076)

Eyes Without A Face

I'm all out of hope
One more bad dream could bring a fall
When I'm far from home
Don't call me on the phone
To tell me you're alone
It's easy to deceive
It's easy to tease
But hard to get release

Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Got no human grace your eyes without a face.

I spend so much time
Believing all the lies
To keep the dream alive
Now it makes me sad
It makes me mad at truth
For loving what was you

Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Got no human grace your eyes without a face.

When you hear the music you make a dip
Into someone else's pocket then make a slip.
Steal a car and go to Las Vegas oh, the gigolo pool.
I'm on a bus on a psychedelic trip
Reading murder books tryin' to stay hip.
I'm thinkin' of you you're out there so
Say your prayers.
Say your prayers.
Say your prayers.

Now I close my eyes
And I wonder why
I don't despise
Now all I can do
Is love what was once
So alive and new
But it's gone from your eyes
I'd better realise

Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Got no human grace your eyes without a face.
Such a human waste your eyes without a face
And now it's getting worse.

Savez vous au moins decrire le refrain ?

tweening (1)

quasipunk guy (88280) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749104)

what's the deal with the word 'tweening' ?

is interpolation too big of a word for the average person? why does the word 'tweening exist' ?

i hate the word.

Re:tweening (2, Informative)

Nurgster (320198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749218)

Tweening is just a specific type of interpolation (in graphics, anyway).

It involings interpolation of vector coordinates, like morphing is interpolcation of bitmaps.

Re:tweening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749278)

Think of it as a derivative of the word "Inbetween".

Re:tweening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3756749)

Ditto.

If we could also rid the Python language from the word "Tuple", I could scratch off two of my pet peeves in one day!

Seems expensive for better security... (1)

sp00nfed (518619) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749114)

cause we all know that the security guys viewing this would be looking at the woman in the red dress.

Attack Iraq, you will never see your women again ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749115)

Underneath the lantern by the barrack gate, Darling I remember the way you used to wait, 'Twas there that you whispered tenderly, That you loved me, You'd always be, My Lili of the lamplight, My own Lili Marlene.

Time would come for roll call, Time for us to part, Darling I'd caress you and press you to my heart, And there 'neath that far off lantern light, I'd hold you tight, We'd kiss "good-night," My Lili of the lamplight, My own Lili Marlene.

Orders came for sailing somewhere over there, All confined to barracks was more than I could bear; I knew you were waiting in the street, I heard your feet, But could not meet, My Lili of the lamplight, My own Lili Marlene.

Resting in a billet just behind the line, Even tho'we're parted your lips are close to mine; You wait where that lantern softly gleams, Your sweet face seems to haunt my dreams, My Lili of the lamplight, My own Lili Marlene.

This is what you will hear for a long time if you try to attack the Muslim Empire...

I fail to understand (1, Troll)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749117)

How any new technology designed for surveillance can be described as "flat out cool".

neat idea (1)

SlugLord (130081) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749123)

It's a neat idea, but I don't think it will be as useful as one might hope. Anything in the computer image would still have to have a direct line of sight to a camera. It sounds like a great tool, but remember computers can't do *everything*

Re:neat idea (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749157)

Yes they *can*. You're *dumb*.

Marvelous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749125)

I predict this will be the most effective new technology for promoting security - incorporating the detail and accuracy of security cameras and flawlessness of image based modeling. It makes me feel liberated knowing that I can live my life unrestrained by fear of malicious criminals.

nothing new.... (1)

NightHwk1 (172799) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749163)

This has already been in use for years!
Its been featured in countless movies, along with the systems that can "enhance" fine detail out of 4 pixels of NTSC video.

superbowl (1)

krb (15012) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749191)

Didn't they use this feature in the super bowl a couple of years ago? Of course, you still need one camera to expose each angles, usually at least 3, and a hoss computer to build the 3D model. If i recall, it wasn't as Matrix-esqe as we'd like it to have been, (though that's mostly a limitation of camera and computing power).

Aside from all that, what's the point. If a guy looks suspicious, and you have 3 cameras able to pick him up, flip the camera view -- is that too much harder than rolling a jog dial?

Canadian Cameras - editorial, news, privacy (4, Informative)

FFFish (7567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749200)

First, a sensible editorial [privcom.gc.ca] from the Vancouver Sun.

Second, some words from the Canadian privacy commissioner [privcom.gc.ca] , in which he comes down on video surveillance.

Third, the cameras are ruled illegal [oipcbc.org] .

Canada has a privacy commissioner who is independent of the government and police and who has one overriding concern above all else: ensuring that the constitutional privacy rights of the Canadian public are respected.

In the past, he's also prevented the government from creating a super database that merges all information from all sources -- police, medical, political, taxation, etc -- into one system. So ruled because it would make it far too easy for the various branches of government to look at data they shouldn't have access to.

Thank goodness Canada's got the foresight and commonsense to have an independent commissioner!

Wouldn't subscribing to Tech Review be easier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749211)

Considering that Slashdot has gotten a significant number of its articles this week from the MIT Technology Review, wouldn't it just be easier for readers to pickup a copy of that magazine?

Warning sonny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749238)

the security guards here can see right through you.

Enemy of the State? (1)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749303)

Isn't this like that they were using in Enemy of The State to try to see what was dropped in Will Smith's bag by that guy that was later killed on the road?

Re:Enemy of the State? (1)

radionixman (543019) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749450)

Exactly Tibbon, This stuff makes for cool movies, but come on... be realistic. You can't interpolate a guys face by looking at the back of his head.

Courts? (1, Troll)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749317)

This "tweening process"... hmmmmmm

Computer added images, surely thats not CONCLUSIVE PROOF? as the image was rendered by the computer and not ACTUALLY there? Basically its an educated guess, not fact?

Could this stand up? or be questioned?

Re:Courts? (2)

Dyolf Knip (165446) | more than 12 years ago | (#3750932)

If they're going to be recording sections of the video, they'd do so from the raw stream, not the omputer generated 3D environment. This is just a better way of representing multiple camera shots of the same scene.

Re:Courts? (2)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 12 years ago | (#3752366)

Conclusive proof of what?

The tweening is so the image looks smoother and more realistic, not to change what happened.

The matrix used tweening to calculate the images between images to make things look smoother and more pleasant instead of jerky.

Yes, it's an educated guess.. but the tweening doesn't place a guy in a room when he's not there, or make him open up a door that he never really touched.. it just makes it look better and more natural.

Trap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749321)

Going to the link coincided with receiving a spam. Could be coincidence, could be just my machine, but the source of the page starts with:

function isEmail(emailAddress)
{
var EmailOk = true;
var AtSym = emailAddress.indexOf('@');
var Period = emailAddress.lastIndexOf('.');
var Space = emailAddress.indexOf(' ');
var Length = emailAddress.length - 1;
if ((AtSym

I don't read javascript but this looks like a parser to me.

-Happy

Entertainment? Fine. Surveillance? Not cool. (1)

mbogosian (537034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749330)

I'm sorry, but any footage that is interpolated or derived from existing frames cannot be admissible in court. It should be considered as speculation. If it isn't then we have some serious problems.

I'm all for the added benefits to pr0n, though.... :)

Re:Entertainment? Fine. Surveillance? Not cool. (2)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749343)

It would maybe be useful for intelligence gathering or planning.

Re:Entertainment? Fine. Surveillance? Not cool. (1)

mbogosian (537034) | about 12 years ago | (#3781002)

It's still fabricated data. Of course, so is FFT, so maybe I'm wrong...that would invalidate any digital voice analysis (but then again, maybe that's the correct thing to do)....

Erm, WHAT? (-1)

ReluctantBadger (550830) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749362)

"That's just flat out cool." What? No pant creaming rant over infrigement of civil liberties and invasion of privacy? Gosh. My advice to the rest of the Slashteam is to check Taco's next bank statement. Incoming transfers from CalisIAtech Inc might be indicate his sudden change of rhetoric.

Re:Erm, WHAT? (-1)

ReluctantBadger (550830) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749375)

"infringement" and "indicating". Oh well, fuck the lot of you.

X10 cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749419)

When are they going to bundle the software with X10 cameras? Like many geeks, I got a box full of them ready to use, so there is a market. All mine were purchased prior to the pop-unders and the voyeur ads, if anyone cares.

3-D Surveillence (More Misleading Hype) (1)

radionixman (543019) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749422)

What a bunch of misleading hype! This article tries to scare all the Chicken Littles out there into beleiving that once again the sky is falling. (Remember the last time the sky fell on Jan 1,Y2K) The story insinuates that "big brother" will soon be counting the hairs in our nostrils by simply interpolating the images picked up by a few traffic cameras placed around town. The key here is that it takes HUNDREDS of cameras to perform this feat and these cameras need to be networked together at high speed before being processed or "tweened" if you prefer. An istallation of this sort would run a round $1 million bucks per city block for the initial installation alone. 'Guess were safe for now. Don't get me wrong, I love the technology, I just feel bad for the Chicken Littles who will beleive it and then never leave their (hen) house anymore.

scary, really (2)

colmore (56499) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749526)

From the last paragraph of the article:

But early versions have already been installed at U.S. Army Intelligence headquarters and are under consideration for New York City's three airports--perhaps bringing us all a step closer to living inside the Matrix.

If by "living inside the Matrix" you mean living in a world where our every action is monitored by technology then, yes, we are getting closer to that.

I don't doubt that this thing has legitimate uses, but I'm not about to jump up and praise every single development in survelance technology. I think Big Brother's eyes are allready a little too sharp, and I'd rather see them make improvements on how they apply their technology. There was no technical reason for intellegence to miss plans for Sept. 11th, and no array of videocameras etc. would have helped. The problems were organizational, and I don't think sufficient improvements have been made in that area.

Bottom line: you get watched, the terrorists go unnoticed.

Re:scary, really (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3751616)

The problem with big brother isn't his eyes, it's his inability to stay the fuck out of your business when you're not hurting anyone. I'm not ashamed of anything I do, but some of it may very well be illegal or considered immoral by people who have the power and inclination to stop me and punish me. But if people were actually only punished for things which hurt other people, and the system were designed to work with such fair overseers...

heh. heh.

Anyway, IF those things were true then it wouldn't matter who saw you do what, now would it? The problem isn't what people see, it's what they do about it.

As a side note; I believe in privacy, but if you were never given any reason to believe that you had been seen - any reason - then it would be like not being watched. Unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way - But the ObDisclaimer snuck in there.

don't you know ... (1)

freaker_TuC (7632) | more than 12 years ago | (#3752651)


For Christ sake ... don't you know you are a battery being consumed by the government ? We are one of many in the geowolf cluster of human intellect.

I can see what this will be primarily used for. (2)

edunbar93 (141167) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749549)

Let's face it. Security is a friggin' boring job. I know people who have done it. About the only thing that keeps it from driving the people doing it completely insane with boredom is the benefit of zooming in the cameras on women with lots of cleavage showing.

So you can imagine how this software will be abused.

This is reminiscent of Chen and Williams work (3, Interesting)

Thagg (9904) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749555)

Check out this paper by Chen and Williams. In this work done back at Apple in '93 they describe how to create intermediate camera angles from multiple static images. [nec.com]

Of course, the capacity to fly around the scene in real time had to wait until computers got a lot faster.

thad

Spectator mode? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3749609)

Sounds like they want to get spectator mode like in Counter Strike. Right-click to jump between people walking around, and you can move the mouse to change the angle you're looking at him with...

At least that what it sounds like to me...

Blade Runner (2)

No Such Agency (136681) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749809)

I'm surprised nobody else has compared this to the "Esper" device used in Blade Runner, which allowed Deckard to "see around corners" in static images. Though, to be fair, I can't think of any *possible* way this could be done using only one image - unless the machine was extrapolating from extremely subtle shadows and reflections on other objects on the picture. Even then you'd get a very crude image of unseen objects at best.

So Enemy of the State isn't totally bullshit... (2)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 12 years ago | (#3749917)

I remember a scene from Enemy of the State where the evil NSA geek takes a shot of Will Smith's shopping bag captured from a lingerie store security camera, and rotates it in 3D, filling in information as he goes along. I was like, "this is soo much bullshit. Typical Jerry Bruckheimer film - junk science all the way."

Well, I guess it wasn't totally bullshit. However, if I find out that the DNA pattern of an ideal brunette can be modeled using only one package of M&Ms, I'll have to shoot myself...

1984 (1)

nailchipper (461706) | more than 12 years ago | (#3750131)

sure 1984 passed. but we are getting closer to it.

Is this new? (1)

ziegast (168305) | more than 12 years ago | (#3750170)

I thought it was pretty neat when a football program would do replays of a scene using multiple cameras and "swing" you around a stadium to a better viewing angle. I think it was Fox Sports that did this, but I'm not sure.

Another thought: One can estimate that there are three or four phone numbers for every man woman and child (home/work/cell/fax/modem/etc.). How many cameras per person will we have within 10 years as we move to a surveillance-oriented society?

-ez

Real World / Quake hybrid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3750192)

I could imagine designing a quake map based on real building layout.

Cameras could overlay real images onto the model.

Security guards would then pay more attention to their surroundings if they were playing a game of quake in the area (model / map)

Quake players are sensitive to movement.

um (1)

ap0 (587424) | more than 12 years ago | (#3750422)

you're all paranoid about being watched, aren't you?

Videoclip featuring the Video Flashlight (3, Informative)

mortal (2462) | more than 12 years ago | (#3750525)

The Sarnoff corporation has more information available on their homepage, including a downloadable video clip of the the flashlight in action; available here [sarnoff.com] .

teleimmersion (2)

cowtamer (311087) | more than 12 years ago | (#3750894)

This could have some really awesome uses in Teleimmersion and Virtual Reality.

Think about the last videoconference you attended: it was probably a far cry from being face to face. Adding simple stereo vision to that probably would not do much for interacting with your peers. However, a system like the following might change things.

Here's what I'd propose, if I could build my "dream system":

Set up the following:
*Two conference rooms equipped with the cameras mentioned in the article
*Optical See-through HMDs [unc.edu] that the users would wear
*A very fast network connection [internet2.edu] between the two locations
*Software to make it work.

This way, individuals in disparate locations could walk around, talk to each other, and do everything but shake hands. Actually, get one of these [mindflux.com.au] and that might even be possible :)

You would also somehow do a similar trick with the audio to enable "private" conversations between individuals sitting next to each other.

This could be the first really useful immersive application. Think about how much travel time would be saved.

Any thoughts?

Enemy of the State (1)

wiz_nff (583854) | more than 12 years ago | (#3751995)

Yep, in that movie they use this 3D tech to pan around a shopping bag to see what it contains. But this would never work in reality...

Re:Enemy of the State (2)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 12 years ago | (#3752374)

Really? why not?
The camera saw the bag from several angles over time as the guy walked away.

You then use a computer to model what the bag should look like from whatever angle. You aren't displaying anything you don't already know.
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