MIT group shows unseen motion captured in video

March 1, 2013 by Nancy Owano report
Overview of the Eulerian video magnification framework. Credit: Hao-Yu Wu et al.

(Phys.org) —A baby lies in the crib looking motionless, a typical situation causing worry to new parents, wondering if the baby is still breathing. A video run through an algorithm designed for amplification shows the baby is indeed breathing with movements that were invisible to the naked eye. It's that special algorithm at the heart of interest in the work of a group of scientists at MIT who work on a project called motion magnification. They have said that "Our goal is to reveal temporal variations in videos that are difficult or impossible to see with the naked eye." Their process breaks apart the visual elements of every frame of a video, reconstructed with an algorithm tool that can amplify aspects of the video.

The team from MIT's and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are working on the program to analyze videos to pick up movements. The program was first developed essentially to monitor neonatal babies. They believe their can be applied to other scenarios to reveal changes imperceptible to the naked eye as well, as in hospital monitoring of patients. You can see a person's face flushing as the blood pumps from his heart. You can read a baby's pulse. A spatial pattern of when the blood goes and where is seen; scientists could look to see where the blood flows on the body as well as on the face. "There is a big world of small motions out there," said a team member.

The video will load shortly

The process is called Eulerian Magnification. "Our method, which we call Eulerian Video Magnification, takes a standard as input, and applies spatial decomposition, followed by temporal filtering to the frames. The resulting signal is then amplified to reveal hidden information," they wrote. They noted that their technique can run in realtime to show phenomena occurring at the temporal frequencies selected by the user.

"We are inspired by the Eulerian perspective," according to the scientists, "where properties of a voxel of fluid, such as pressure and velocity, evolve over time, in a spatially multiscale manner." In their approach to motion magnification, they said they do not explicitly estimate motion but rather exaggerate motion by amplifying temporal color changes at fixed positions.

The video will load shortly

This is not the first time their advances have been publicized. The program was presented last year at the annual computer graphics conference, Siggraph. What is new is that the team has revamped the work and they posted code online for people interested in exploring such renderings of motion that otherwise would not be detected by the naked eye. "Our team is still actively working on this direction, so people can expect more to come," said a team member. "We hope that it will motivate people to look deeper into this type of processing and different applications it can support."

The video will load shortly

Explore further: Seeing things: Researchers teach computers to recognize objects

More information: people.csail.mit.edu/mrub/papers/vidmag.pdf
web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2013/csail-team-honored-for-revealing-invisible-changes.html

Related Stories

Computerized system to prevent SIDS developed by students

July 13, 2011

A new system using video and computer software to monitor a baby that could be used to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), as well as for telemedicine applications, has been developed by two students at Ben-Gurion ...

A new window to the face

August 9, 2011

The human face is a complicated thing—powered by 52 muscles; contoured by the nose, eyebrows, and other features; and capable of an almost infinite range of expressions, from joy to anger to sorrow to puzzlement.

Recommended for you

MIT's flea market specializes in rare, obscure electronics

September 25, 2016

Once a month in the summer, a small parking lot on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's campus transforms into a high-tech flea market known for its outlandish offerings. Tables overflow with antique radio equipment, ...

Indonesia struggles to tap volcano power

September 25, 2016

Columns of steam shoot from the ground at an Indonesian power plant sitting in the shadow of an active volcano, as energy is tapped from the red-hot underbelly of the archipelago.

Snapchat introduces video-catching sunglasses

September 24, 2016

Vanishing message service Snapchat announced Saturday it will launch a line of video-catching sunglasses, a spin on Glass eyewear abandoned by Google more than a year ago.

Hyperloop pushes dream of low-cost futuristic transport

September 23, 2016

Is it a plane, is it a train? No, say supporters of Hyperloop, a futuristic mode of transport floated by Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk that promises high-tech, high-speed and cheap travel over long distances.

First test of driverless minibus in Paris Saturday

September 24, 2016

The French capital's transport authority will on Saturday carry out its first test of a driverless minibus, in the hope that regular routes for the hi-tech vehicles will be up and running within two years.

5 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Howard_Vickridge
not rated yet Mar 01, 2013
This is superb! How incredibly useful for medicine - accurate observations without physical interventions. This can make assessments less intrusive, more subtle, and could presumably be used in hand-held devices; low-cost, portable, easy. Nice work team.
NeptuneAD
not rated yet Mar 01, 2013
Going beyond the averaging of normal video and our eyes, this shows the world in an enhanced way that will surely be used to make huge advances in many areas.
Maggnus
1 / 5 (1) Mar 01, 2013
Very cool and what an amazing new use of an established technology.
dan42day
1 / 5 (1) Mar 02, 2013
Awesome! Now I'll actually be able to see my wife move in our sex videos!
deatopmg
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 02, 2013
Brilliant!!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.