Today: Apr 23, 2024

What’s lurking around the corner? Technology sees through obstacles ahead

2 months ago





TLDR:

  • New technology developed by researchers from the University of South Florida allows for seeing past obstructed views, potentially preventing accidents and aiding in various scenarios.
  • The technology uses shadows captured in a single photograph to generate a highly accurate, full-color, three-dimensional reconstruction of hidden areas.

Researchers from the University of South Florida, led by Assistant Professor John Murray-Bruce and doctoral student Robinson Czajkowski, have developed new technology that has the potential to revolutionize how we perceive the environment by allowing us to see past obstructed views. Inspired by a personal experience of wishing to foresee a car crash, Murray-Bruce set out to expand our line of vision beyond physical barriers.

The technology utilizes shadows captured in a single photograph to create a detailed 3D reconstruction of hidden areas, transforming ordinary surfaces into mirrors that reveal obstructed views and objects. This breakthrough can aid in accident prevention by providing a more complete 3D picture of various scenarios.

Besides accident prevention, the technology has implications for law enforcement in hostage situations and search and rescue operations. Unlike previous efforts that required specialized and costly equipment, this technology achieves similar results using readily available sources, making it more accessible for widespread adoption.

Murray-Bruce estimates that within 10 to 20 years, the technology will reach a level suitable for law enforcement and automotive industries, with a focus on increasing speed and accuracy to broaden its applications. The algorithm is available for fellow researchers to explore, fostering collaboration and further advancements in the field. Murray-Bruce and Czajkowski envision a future where accidents are preempted, and unseen dangers are brought to light.