New technology could make TV more exciting

Feb 02, 2005

Live TV outside broadcasts that combine real action and computer-generated images could become possible for the first time, thanks to camera navigation technology now under development.
The work is opening up the prospect of outdoor sporting, musical or other TV coverage that blends the excitement of being live with the spectacular visual impact that computer graphics can create. It can also be applied at the consumer level, e.g. to enable interior design ideas to be visualised by adding virtual furniture to the view of a room provided by a hand-held camera as it moves.

The system is able to work out in real-time where a camera is and how it is moving, simultaneously constructing a detailed visual map of its surroundings. This enables computer graphics to be overlaid accurately onto live pictures as soon as they are produced. Previously the blending of live action and computer-generated images has only been possible in controlled studio environments.

Harnessing techniques from mathematics, computing and engineering, the new system is being developed at Oxford University with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The project aims to extend the capabilities of a prototype system developed by the same team, also with EPSRC funding.

Dr Ian Reid and Dr Andrew Davison of Oxford University's Department of Engineering Science are leading the project. Andrew says: "This localisation and mapping technology turns a camera into a flexible, real-time position sensor. It has all kinds of potential applications."

The system comprises a mobile video camera connected to a laptop computer, which analyses the images it receives using software developed by the researchers. As the camera moves, the system picks out landmarks as reference points and makes a map of their 3D locations against which to measure its position. The challenge is to estimate accurately the camera's position and the layout of its surroundings at the same time - a task known as Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM).

As well as TV and video applications, the technology under development could provide low-cost, high-performance navigation for domestic robots. It could also be incorporated into video games or wearable computing, e.g. for use in dangerous environments, where it could confirm the wearer's location and allow relevant guidance to be overlaid onto their view of surroundings.

Source: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Explore further: Audi to develop Tesla Model S all-electric rival

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Self-driving cars could be the answer to congested roads

Nov 24, 2014

If cars with drivers still suffer under gridlock conditions on roads, how will driverless cars fare any better? With greater computerisation and network awareness, driverless cars may be the answer to growing ...

Why does coffee spill more often than beer? (w/ Video)

Nov 24, 2014

Watch even the most careful waiter bring a cup of coffee to your table, and you'll realize that carrying liquid is not easy. When set in motion, the coffee starts sloshing, little waves appear, and spilling ...

German study supports free "Super WiFi"

Nov 24, 2014

The need for the wireless transfer of data will increase significantly in the coming years. Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) therefore propose to turn some of the TV frequencies that ...

Form Devices team designs Point as a house sitter

Nov 22, 2014

A Scandinavian team "with an international outlook" and good eye for electronics, software and design aims to reach success with what they characterize as "a softer take" on home security. Their device is ...

Recommended for you

Audi to develop Tesla Model S all-electric rival

14 hours ago

The Tesla Model S has a rival. Audi is to develop all-electric family car. This is to be a family car that will offer an all-electric range of 280 miles (450 kilometers), according to Auto Express, which ...

A green data center with an autonomous power supply

19 hours ago

A new data center in the United States is generating electricity for its servers entirely from renewable sources, converting biogas from a sewage treatment plant into electricity and water. Siemens implemented ...

After a data breach, it's consumers left holding the bag

20 hours ago

Shoppers have launched into the holiday buying season and retailers are looking forward to year-end sales that make up almost 20% of their annual receipts. But as you check out at a store or click "purchase" on your online shopping cart ...

Can we create an energy efficient Internet?

20 hours ago

With the number of Internet connected devices rapidly increasing, researchers from Melbourne are starting a new research program to reduce energy consumption of such devices.

Brain inspired data engineering

21 hours ago

What if next-generation ICT systems could be based on the brain's structure and its cognitive and adaptive processes? A groundbreaking paradigm of brain-inspired intelligent ICT architectures is being born.

User comments : 0

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.