x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA
  • Hidden picShow menu
  • Home
  • News
  • In the future, your smartphone could be taking photos and videos without reflections, obstructions getting in the way

In the future, your smartphone could be taking photos and videos without reflections, obstructions getting in the way

Posted: , by Chris P.

Tags :

In the future, your smartphone could be taking photos and videos without reflections, obstructions getting in the way
A team of Google and MIT researches have devised an ingenious computational approach to what they're calling 'obstruction-free' photography, and will be presenting the fruits of their labor at SIGGRAPH 2015. Luckily for us, the team behind the algorithm — including Tianfan Xue, Michael Rubinstein, Ce Liu, and William T. Freeman — have already released some impressive sample footage. While it's certainly a bit too early to make any educated guesses, we could speculate that, in the future, a camera feature such as this could be a part of your smartphone.

So what exactly is obstruction-free photography? Put simply, just think of every image or clip you've ever taken shooting scenes through a window (reflections) or something like a fence. Now, you only did that because you most probably had no other choice — take the shot, or leave it. With the above-mentioned researchers' algorithm, however, you could have recorded the scene without any nasty reflections or distracting fences ruining the footage.

Here's an example of the algorithm doing its thing by eliminating reflections (snapshot taken from video):

In the future, your smartphone could be taking photos and videos without reflections, obstructions getting in the way

And here's another example with what the approach can do for videos through fences:

In the future, your smartphone could be taking photos and videos without reflections, obstructions getting in the way

We won't lie, that's pretty impressive, and we're sure you'll agree. Of course, in order to achieve this effect, you're required to take a video and move the camera around so that the algorithm can then use the data from the hidden spots (behind the fence or obscured by reflections) to repair the image. A more thorough explanation is available in the video outlining the approach right below, and we expect that the researchers will discuss their method in even greater detail at SIGGRAPH 2015. 

Obviously, it'll be a while (if ever) before such a feature becomes a part of your smartphone camera. But even if it sounds incredibly complex and highly unlikely right now, you only need to remind yourself about all the technological breakthroughs the smartphone industry is responsible for to realize that this is not at all impossible. After all, few people imagined that we would one day have computing devices that fit in our pockets and offer infinitely more power than all of NASA's computers when it put a man on the Moon.


10 Comments
  • Options
    Close





posted on 05 Aug 2015, 08:44 2

1. Nim010 (Posts: 6; Member since: 24 Apr 2015)


Wow!!! Just look at the second one!!

posted on 05 Aug 2015, 08:46 1

2. iphonexus (Posts: 130; Member since: 04 Jan 2015)


It looks nice

posted on 05 Aug 2015, 09:11 1

3. dimas (Posts: 2488; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)


It's an impressive development but I'd rather want a digital, affordable camera that have the sharpness and detail capturing ability like the old fashion negatives. More than 20 years and digicams still can't beat kodak film quality.

posted on 05 Aug 2015, 12:55

6. Penny (Posts: 1665; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


I don't know, when it comes to negatives I would imagine that the physical nature of the film would have an inherent limit in how much detail it can resolve. Digital cameras continue to resolve more and more detail, and I would venture to guess have far surpassed the detail capturing capabilities of film cameras.

I mean my Canon 5DMII does take more detailed, color accurate photos than my dad's old Canon film SLR.

posted on 06 Aug 2015, 10:27

10. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Technically they resolve at the atom level and between light particles reacting to the film. There is no 'MP' for film. It is why optics for that type of style is way more important than anything.

posted on 05 Aug 2015, 10:23

4. duartix (Posts: 311; Member since: 01 Apr 2014)


Photoacute has been doing this for over 10 years.
All you need is a PC and several image captures.

posted on 05 Aug 2015, 21:39

8. TerryTerius (unregistered)


That's nowhere near as convenient as having a phone that can do that out of the box without needing a second step, technical proficiency or eediting whatsoever though. Just saying, no offense intended.

posted on 05 Aug 2015, 10:44 1

5. natypes (Posts: 1104; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)


LG had something kinda like this on a stock G2. You basically took the photo, but held the camera in place a couple of seconds. It got rid of whatever walked in front of the photo. It wasn't EXACTLY like this, but was cool. You could edit out cars, people, whatever photo-bombed you.

posted on 05 Aug 2015, 14:46

7. B-power (Posts: 255; Member since: 22 Feb 2014)


Notice the "could''

posted on 06 Aug 2015, 03:03

9. Dee79 (Posts: 302; Member since: 19 Jun 2014)


The girl on the video sounds about 14, 15 years old or it's a young boy....

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories